In keeping with the year-end flood of retransmission consent and carriage deals, The Walt Disney Co. said Monday it has reached a comprehensive agreement with Charter Communications, including the addition of several new channels across the MSO’s footprint.
As part of the new multi-year deal, The Longhorn Network will launch in Texas, Louisiana and Virginia systems by football season next year. Charter and Disney will also introduce several new services, including the full suite of authenticated WATCH products, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater, as well as the upcoming ABC News/Univision Joint Venture, a 24/7 news, information and lifestyle multi-platform network for English-dominant and bilingual Hispanics. In total, approximately 70 services are covered by the broad scope of this agreement including: 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 Full Court, ESPN3, The Longhorn Network, and retransmission consent for WABC-TV (New York), KABC-TV (Los Angeles), WLS-TV (Chicago), KGO-TV (San Francisco), KTRK-TV (Houston), WTVD-TV (Raleigh-Durham, N.C.) and KFSN-TV (Fresno, Calif.), as well as more than 10 high-definition networks.
Launch of content across these new distribution platforms is planned to begin in the first half of 2013.
Charter customers will receive broad access to existing authenticated products like WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH Disney XD and WATCH Disney Junior, the to-be-launched WATCH ABC and WATCH ABC Family services and WatchESPN (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPN Goal Line and ESPN Buzzer Beater).
“This agreement enables us to offer our customers additional value, choice and convenience,” said Charter senior vice president, programming Allan Singer, in a statement. “More and more content is being enjoyed on tablets and other Internet-connected devices, and today’s viewers are sharing their TV experiences in new ways. Our agreement with Disney enables more robust ways to enjoy and socialize TV.”
Added David Preschlack, executive vice president, Affiliate Sales and Marketing, Disney & ESPN Networks Group, “Our agreement with Charter represents the sixth top ten distributor renewal encompassing Disney’s full suite of products and services. With this deal, Charter’s video customers will derive even greater benefit from the value of their multichannel subscription model, including 24/7 live access to our content via the WATCH Disney services and WatchESPN across more platforms than ever before, as well as other new and advanced services.”
The extensive and expanded rights package for Video On Demand content to Charter TV customers includes:
- ABC On Demand, ABC’s fast-forward-disabled On Demand service, which currently features a selection of top-rated primetime entertainment programming, including episodes of such popular current ABC shows as “Castle,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Once Upon A Time,” “Private Practice” and “Revenge.” Full current seasons will be made available on a number of shows.
- ABC Family On Demand, which features a variety of top-rated full episodes, refreshed monthly, from such popular millennial favorites as “Switched at Birth,” “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” “Baby Daddy,” “Bunheads” and “Melissa & Joey.” Full current seasons will be made available on a number of shows. ABC Family original movies like “Mistle-Tones” will also be available.
- Disney-branded On Demand offerings, including Disney Channel On Demand, Disney Junior On Demand, and Disney XD On Demand. Refreshed each month, the Disney Channel On Demand offering will include episodes from such series as “Handy Manny,” “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” and “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” for preschoolers, as well as variety of episodes from “A.N.T. Farm,” “Good Luck Charlie,” “Jessie,” and other popular series for older kids. Select episodes featured on Disney Channel On Demand will be available in new offerings, such as playlists and monthly programming blocks, in addition to a number of episodes available in multiple languages. A variety of Disney Channel Original Movies will also be available. Disney XD On Demand features a selection of episodes from such series as the Emmy Award-winning animated hit “Phineas and Ferb,” “Pair of Kings" and "Kickin’ It."
- Expanded On Demand content from ESPN, including award-winning original content from ESPN Films.