Comcast snags TV Everywhere deal for Disney, ESPN, ABC

Michelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 05-01-2012

Comcast has snagged a 10-year deal with the Walt Disney Co. to bring live and streaming content to its TV Everywhere play, including the rights for streaming video on tablets.
Covering content from the Disney Channel, ESPN, Disney XD, ABC Family and the ABC broadcast network, the deal also includes retransmission fees for the ABC-owned broadcast television stations, including WABC-TV in New York and KTRK in Houston.
The multiscreen agreement covers a range of viewing options: 70 of them in fact, including on demand and even coveted out-of-home viewing on smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles. Typically content companies are wary of allowing live or on-demand streaming outside of a pay-TV home zone without an additional monthly premium added to the bill.
The deal is also notable for the amount of content that it covers. “Given the scope of assets Comcast and Disney/ABC/ESPN are making available to customers, this agreement is unprecedented in our industry,” George Bodenheimer, ESPN’s executive chairman, said, alluding to the omnibus nature of the package. Typically pay-TV operators sign 5-year deals and each major network commands its own licencing negotiations.
Comcast can add the Disney/ABC content to the significant pool of streaming video it has access to via subsidiary NBCUniversal.
“Comcast was the first video provider to create technology that enabled us to deliver content to consumers where and when they want it across any viewing platform,” Neil Smit, president and chief executive officer of Comcast’s cable division, the nation’s largest cable provider, said in a statement.
The financial terms of Wednesday’s deal were not disclosed, but it 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,” noted Anne Sweeney, co-chairman of Disney Media Networks.