Comcast strikes deal to bring ABC, Disney & ESPN to all screens


Comcast (s CMCSA) just struck a huge new agreement with Disney (s DIS) that will give it access to a wide range of content from ABC, Disney and ESPN networks across a number of screens and platforms. The 10-year deal also stipulates that the companies will collaborate on developing interactive applications for the next generation of devices.

At the heart of the agreement is Comcast’s commitment to bringing TV content to online platforms like its website, as well as to mobile applications like its iPad app. Comcast will also allow subscribers to authenticate their accounts, which will give them access to Disney content on its own branded applications — like the WatchESPN iPad app, for instance.

Covered in the deal are pretty much all the Disney networks, including ABC, ABC Family, Disney Channel, Disney XD, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Deportes, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN 3D, ESPN GamePlan, ESPN FullCourt and ESPN3. It also includes retransmission consent for Disney-owned local broadcasters and the introduction of Disney Junior to Comcast’s channel lineup. It will also grow Comcast’s on-demand library, with a wide selection of ABC, ABC Family, Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD shows available.

For Comcast, the pact emboldens its TV Everywhere initiative, which it launched two-and-a-half years ago, as it attempts to provide more access to on-demand content on as many devices as subscribers want to view them on. It also includes new and upcoming distribution for Disney-branded mobile and tablet applications, which will include WatchDisneyChannel, WatchDisneyXD and WatchDisneyJunior. In both cases, it follows the need to make content available everywhere possible, or miss out on greater viewership opportunities.

Photo of Comcast Tower courtesy of Flickr user Kevin Burkett.


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Pete Mortensen

Any idea when this goes into force? I assume WatchESPN doesn’t suddenly work for Xfinity subscribers today…

Ryan Lawler

The new features will be rolled out over time, no real ETA. I’ve been told that the deal was just struck, so it’ll take some time for the authentication to be put in place for various apps and websites.

Digital Dazzle

NBC (now owned by Comcast) just launched its own 24/7 Sports Network. Good luck getting them to promote the competition…

Peter C.

Sure, but you’ll no doubt be required to subscribe to a cable tier that includes those channels. I will not use cable TV again until I can choose a lineup of individual channels myself.


Exactly right. We want new and more creative distribution strategies that are unbundled from the legacy costs and poor customer service of the cable providers. We don’t need the cable companies to extend their model into web distribution.

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