Disney and Cox Communications Reach Multi-Year Distribution Agreement
Cox Communications and The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) today announced a comprehensive long-term distribution agreement to deliver Disney's robust lineup of top quality sports, news and entertainment content to Cox TV customers across televisions, computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and internet-enabled televisions. The new early renewal agreement enhances the multichannel business model and supports the companies' common goal to deliver the best video content to customers across multiple platforms.
As part of the new multi-year agreement, WatchESPN (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPN Goal Line and ESPN Buzzer Beater) launches today as the first of TWDC's existing authenticated products being made available to Cox customers. Additional authenticated products including WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH Disney XD and WATCH Disney Junior will launch next week. The to-be-launched WATCH ABC and WATCH ABC Family services will also be made available to Cox customers. These products will give Cox customers more opportunities to access live and video on demand content, both in-home and out-of-home, on their computers, smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles.
In total, approximately 70 services are covered by the broad scope of this agreement, including ABC, ABC Family, ABC News/Univision Joint Venture, 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, Longhorn Network and retransmission consent for KABC-TV, as well as more than 10 high-definition networks.
The companies also announced that ESPNEWS and ESPN Classic will be added to Cox TV Connect, Cox's proprietary app that allows customers to watch live TV on the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch from anywhere in their homes. Cox is increasing the number of channels on Cox TV Connect to 90, starting Monday, December 17, 2012.
"This comprehensive agreement with The Walt Disney Company enhances the value of our customers' experience with our products and services," said Mark Greatrex, Cox Communications senior vice president, chief marketing and sales officer. "Coupled with our investment in our broadband network and the development of innovative services like Cox TV Connect and TV Online, we're enabling our customers to access their favorite news, sports and entertainment video content whenever and wherever they want it."
Added David Preschlack, executive vice president, Affiliate Sales and Marketing, Disney & ESPN Networks Group: "This deal renewal with Cox marks the fifth agreement encompassing Disney's full suite of products and services while strengthening the value of the multichannel subscription model. We are serving viewers by delivering 24/7 live access to our content via the WATCH Disney services and WatchESPN across more platforms than ever before, which is quickly becoming the new standard in content delivery."
The extensive and expanded rights package for Video On Demand content to Cox 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 innovative 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."