Cablevision, Walt Disney Ink Distribution Deal

ESPN-SportsCenterThe big New York area-based Cablevision Systems inked another big programming/content distribution deal --- this time with Walt Disney Company. Last month, it signed a major agreement with CBS Corp.

The Disney deal is a fully comprehensive one -- covering some 70 properties, traditional networks and platforms. As with the CBS alliance, this one also looks to future digital efforts.

Cablevision will launch several new services including the full suite of "authenticated" Disney "Watch" platforms, including ESPN3 and ESPN 3D as well as the upcoming ABC News/Univision joint venture, a 24/7 news, information and lifestyle multiplatform network for English-dominant and bilingual Hispanics.

The overall deal includes carriage for ABC, ABC Family, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Deportes, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN 3D, ESPN GamePlan, ESPN FullCourt, ESPN3 and Longhorn Network; retransmission consent for WABC-TV and WPVI-TV, as well as more than 10 high-def networks.

James Dolan, president and CEO of Cablevision, stated that customers will continue to have access to dozens of ABC, Disney and ESPN networks for years to come "and, for the first time, they will be able to enjoy Disney and ESPN programming outside the home."

Cable network distributors and big media/network companies have been pushing for TV Everywhere deals in which consumers can receive traditional TV networks and stations on new digital platforms and services. Under TV Everywhere efforts, companies "authenticate" that those consumers are cable system consumers.

Also part of the arrangement: ABC On Demand -- ABC’s fast-forward-disabled on-demand service, which features prime-time entertainment programming. Plus, the subscription on-demand service “Disney Family Movies" is included.

Last month, Cablevision made a similar on-demand deal with CBS Corp. for Showtime Anytime and CBS prime-time shows.

Terms of these deals were not disclosed. TV analysts have estimated that as part of these big distribution deals, retransmission agreements for TV stations are being set at an industry average of around 50 cents per subscriber per month.



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