Programming giant Walt Disney Co. and pay-TV distributor Cablevision Systems Corp. have signed a wide-ranging agreement covering dozens of broadcast and cable channels including ABC, ESPN and Disney Channel.
As part of the deal, Cablevision has also agreed to carry a news and lifestyle channel from ABC and Univision that is being launched next year. The channel is an English-language service aimed at Latinos.
Cablevision will now also offer its subscribers the ability to watch ESPN, Disney Channel and other networks from tablet devices and phones both inside and outside the home.
“This significant agreement ensures that our 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,” said Cablevision President James L. Dolan.
Cablevision has struck several long-term deals with program suppliers in recent weeks including CBS and the NFL Network.
Another element of the deal is video-on-demand. Cablevision will now carry ABC On Demand, which features shows from the network's prime time lineup including "Castle," "Once Upon a Time" and "Revenge."
On-demand is key for programmers because, unlike digital video recorders, fast-forward can be turned off. That means advertisements can not be skipped. Programmers are trying to encourage greater use of video-on-demand. While consumers love being able to bypass commercials, both programmers and distributors want to grow video-on-demand and phase out DVRs.
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