1/5/2012 12:20 PM
Comcast Corp. and The Walt Disney Company have reached a long-term, distribution agreement that will bring Disney's sports, news and entertainment content to Comcast's Xfinity TV subscribers on television, online, electronic tablets and smart phones. The new agreement, which will hold "into the next decade," supports both companies' stated goal to deliver content across multiple platforms using the latest cable and cloud-based technology.
In total, 70 services are included under the new agreement. For example, and for the first time ever, Xfinity TV customers can now watch ESPN, ABC or Disney shows live or on demand and across multiple screens. The companies also agreed to collaborate on creating new types of interactive viewing experiences.
"This landmark deal is a great example of what can be achieved when programmers and distributors collaborate and innovate together to meet the ever-evolving needs of consumers and enhance the viewing experience," said Anne Sweeney, Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks and President, Disney/ABC Television Group. "By combining the best news, sports and entertainment content available today with cutting-edge technologies, we're able to fully realize our comprehensive TV+ initiative, and introduce a brand new suite of authenticated services to Comcast subscribers."
The networks and services covered by the agreement include: ABC, ABC Family, Disney Channel, Disney XD, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Deportes, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN 3D, ESPN GamePlan, ESPN FullCourt and ESPN3.
It also includes retransmission consent for seven ABC-owned broadcast television stations (WABC-TV New York, WLS-TV Chicago, WPVI-TV Philadelphia, KGO-TV San Francisco, KTRK-TV Houston, KTVD-TV Raleigh-Durham, and KFSN-TV Fresno) as well as more than 10 high-definition networks.
Comcast will also provide its Xfinity TV customers with access to a suite of live Disney networks on an authenticated basis and expanded Xfinity On Demand content through Disney's TV+ initiative. Both companies said license fee schedules for different services under the deal will be phased in over time.
"We are very pleased to have reached this unprecedented and innovative, long-term agreement with Disney which embraces the future of entertainment and allows Comcast to continue to bring our vision of TV Everywhere to Xfinity customers whether at home or on the go," said Neil Smit, President and Chief Executive Officer, Comcast Cable.
In 2004, Comcast, the nation's largest cable television operator, offered to buy the Walt Disney Company for $66 billion in cash and stock, but the deal was never completed.