DirecTV, having reached a TV Everywhere accord today with Fox's national networks, is continuing to work toward a comprehensive distribution deal with The Walt Disney Co.
DirecTV and Disney's 10-year distribution agreement ended Sept. 30. Under an extension, the parties, according to sources, have been continuing to negotiate a new pact that would not only include continued carriage of a suite of Disney networks and services, but encompass new digital rights that would also allow for TVE simulcasting for authenticated DirecTV subscribers.
Not having access to DirecTV's 20 million-plus subs has been a major hole within Disney's streaming lineup, notably for WatchESPN.
DirecTV and ESPN officials declined to comment about the state of their discussions.
With DirecTV and Disney committed to negotiating until a new agreement is reached, there doesn't appear to be any reason for the top DBS provider's subscribers to fear a possible disconnect that would result in the loss of any of the programmer's fare, including the inaugural College Football Playoff games on New Year's Day.
In dealing with Dish Network earlier this year, Disney remained in talks with the No. 2 DBS player for five months until they reached a broad deal in March that also included the launch of the Watch services.