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The Oscars to stream live on Watch ABC

MUMBAI: US broadcaster ABC has announced that for the first time ever, The Oscars preshow and full awards telecast will stream live for verified Watch ABC viewers online and on mobile devices.

The Watch ABC app allows viewers with participating TV subscription services access to 24/7 live viewing of the network, as well as next day on demand access to most series, making it possible for fans to watch the entire The Oscars experience – including “Jimmy Kimmel Live: After the Oscars” – in more places and at more times than ever before.

In India the Oscar Awards will air live on Star Movies on 3 March at 5:30 am with a repeat at 8 pm. In the US, it will air on ABC on 2 March and in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

Live streaming for ABC’s viewers is currently available through Comcast, Cablevision, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Midcontinent Communications, Verizon Fios, Google Fiber and AT&T U-verse in ABC’s eight Owned Station markets – New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham and Fresno. Once aired, the full Oscars telecast and pre-show will be available on demand via Watch ABC for verified viewers for three days, through 5 March.

Watch ABC can be accessed from Oscar.com, ABC.com, WatchABC.com or via the WatchABC app, which is free on select Android devices and iOS and can be downloaded at Google Play, the Amazon Appstore, and the App Store. Verified viewers then log in using their cable or satellite subscription username and password.

The Academy and Disney/ABC Television Group’s Digital Media team are also unveiling the talent line up for their Oscar second screen experience, The Oscars Backstage, which will also be streamed this year to all viewers – regardless of whether they are verified – via Watch ABC. The hosts and correspondents include:

• Entertainment Reporter and Film Critic Ben Lyons (Yahoo, “Extra!,” ESPN Radio, “E! News,” among others) and fashion retail correspondent and author Hitha Prabhakar (who has contributed to ABC World News, “Good Morning America,” Nightline, Bravo, CNN, E! Entertainment television, among others) will co-host from the red carpet and backstage.
• People’s managing editor Peter Castro will once again report from the fan bleachers on the red carpet. The bleachers are sponsored by Time Inc.’s People, which invites 700 fans and People VIP subscribers to watch and cheer nominees, presenters and film’s biggest stars as part of the People Oscar Fan Experience.
• ‘Good Morning America’ and ESPN contributing editor Chris Connelly is returning as the official greeter of the Oscars Red Carpet, which includes welcoming nominees, presenters and performers to the show.

Presented again this year by Samsung Galaxy, The Oscars Backstage is designed to be the ultimate complement to the live telecast. All Oscar viewers who visit Watch ABC will be able to select from three channels that will pull from more than 15 live cameras strategically placed on the Red Carpet and throughout the backstage areas of the Dolby Theatre, providing fans with insider views into the most memorable moments of the night. Popular cameras positions include the Thank You cam, Winners Walk, Audience and Press Room. Fans will also be able to access the official Oscar Buzz social feed and popular photo galleries from within the app. The Oscars Backstage experience launched in 2011 to much acclaim and has been recognized with an Emmy® for Creative Achievement in Interactive Arts and an Industry Star Mobile Excellence Award. It remains unprecedented in terms of live event second screen access.

Disney/ABC Television Group executive VP, chief product officer, digital media Albert Cheng said, “We’re extremely proud of how much the Oscar Digital Experience has evolved. This year more people than ever before will have access to the backstage streams and verified WATCH ABC viewers will be able to participate in the most interactive Oscars to date, seamlessly navigating between the pre-show, telecast and The Oscars Backstage experience on their mobile devices.”

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences MD digital media, marketing Josh Spector said, “We’re excited to once again bring viewers backstage and allow them to experience all of the action on Oscar Sunday – not just what happens on stage, but the stories that play out behind-the-scenes as well.”

Additionally, video highlights from the telecast and The Oscars Backstage will be available as embeddable clips on Oscar.com almost immediately after they air at Oscar.com/blogs. Full performances of the shows musical performances, including Pharrell ‘Happy’, Idina Menzel ‘Let It Go’, Karin O ‘The Moon Song’ and U2 ‘Ordinary Love’ will be featured in a dedicated “Musical Moments” section sponsored by Pepsi that includes video and photo coverage of past music winners.

The site is also showcasing nominees “in their own words,” a collection of official nominee questionnaires, including Bradley Cooper, Bruce Dern, Michael Fassbender, June Squibb, Sally Hawkins, among others. To add to the fun, quizzes from past year’s awards shows are featured, including: ‘Guess Who Won Best Actress’, ‘Guess the Dress’, ‘Who Starred In?’ and ‘Script to Screen’. The ‘My Picks’ interactive ballot is also live. Friends can view and share the ballot on Facebook, which will update in real time on Oscar Night®, ensuring that the most competitive Oscar handicappers are instantly aware of their ranking among friends.

The ninth annual ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live: After the Oscars’ airs on 2 March after the late local news. It will also be available live and on demand via the Watch ABC app. Broadcasting from Disney’s El Capitan Theater located on Hollywood Boulevard in the heart of L.A.’s star-studded Walk of Fame, the studio is just steps away from Dolby Theater, home to the Academy Awards.

Past guest appearances on Kimmel’s post-Oscar specials have included Tom Cruise, Ben Affleck, Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon and Ellen DeGeneres. Last year’s ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live: After the Oscars’ marked the most-watched post-Oscar telecast in the franchise’s history.