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Disney's ABC reportedly working on live streaming TV app

Walt Disney Co. is said to be working on a new live streaming television app for its broadcast network ABC that will make content available to cable and satellite subscribers.

Existing TV subscribers will be able to stream live programming anywhere they have an Internet connection with the forthcoming mobile application, according to The New York Times. Sources who revealed the information said the application could arrive as soon as this year.

The current ABC Player app available for iOS.

Even though ABC is a free over-the-air public network, the streaming capabilities will reportedly only be available to cable and satellite subscribers so that Disney will not upset providers.

"With the app, ABC, a subsidiary of Disney, will become the first of the American broadcasters to provide a live Internet stream of national and local programming to people who pay for cable or satellite," author Brian Stelter wrote.

Disney has been on the forefront of streaming live television with its "Watch ESPN" app for Apple's iOS. That service offers a large number of live streaming sports events to users who log in with credentials provided through their cable operator.

ABC was one of the first television networks to embrace the iPad, developing a launch day app for the first-generation iPad back in 2010. The existing ABC Player is now a universal app for iPhone and iPad that can be used to stream previously-aired episodes of current shows.

Apple and Disney have long been close partners in media, as Steve Jobs was the company's largest shareholder through his sale of animation studio Pixar, while Disney CEO Bob Iger currently serves on the Apple Board of Directors. Disney also uses Apple products like iPads and iPod touches at some of its world-renowned theme parks in an effort to better serve visitors.