ABC Family, Charter Ink Deal


ABC Family has closed a carriage renewal with a third key distributor,
Charter Communications Inc., officials said Thursday.

The multiyear deal involves most of the MSO's 6.4 million subscribers, since
ABC Family is carried widely throughout the MSO, a source said.

The Charter pact is the latest affiliation-deal renewal to be locked up by
ABC Family's new owners, The Walt Disney Co. and its ABC Cable Networks

In addition to Charter, ABC Family in the
past six months has also secured contract extensions with the two direct-broadcast satellite providers, EchoStar Communications Corp. and DirecTV Inc.

Between all three distributors, ABC Family has secured continued carriage
with roughly 20.4 million subscribers, which represents about one-quarter of its
total of 84.7 million subscribers.

The cable
network has had contracts expire during the past year with several large
MSOs, including Time Warner Cable and Cablevision Systems Corp.

No new contracts with those cable operators have been announced yet.

Charter and ABC Cable declined to discuss the terms of their new deal. An ABC
Cable spokeswoman did say the contract only involves ABC Family, and no other
Disney cable networks.

'Under Disney's ownership, ABC Family has built its audience and added value
to the network that is attracting more viewers to cable,' Charter CEO Carl Vogel
said in a prepared statement.

During the May sweeps, ABC Family's primetime ratings were up 17 percent to a
0.7, according to Nielsen Media Research.

During the
National Show in New Orleans, Disney chairman Michael Eisner disclosed that ABC Family had
completed a contract renewal with DirecTV.

Prior to that, in April, EchoStar and ABC Family reached a multiyear deal
renewal as part of a settlement after Disney sued the DBS company to prevent it
from dropping the network earlier this year.

Disney paid $5.2 billion for Fox Family Channel last
fall. It has since renamed it, and it is reprogramming it.