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Disney, Dish Network sign distribution pact

MUMBAI: US media conglomerate Disney and US satellite service provider Dish Network have announced a distribution agreement that will provide Dish customers with access to Disney’s lineup of sports, news and entertainment content across televisions, computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and connected devices.

The renewal agreement supports the companies’ mutual goal to deliver the best video content to customers across multiple platforms by strengthening the value of the multichannel video subscription today and by creating the opportunity for Dish to deliver new services in the future.

The distribution agreement grants Dish rights to stream cleared linear and video-on-demand content from the ABC-owned broadcast stations, ABC Family, Disney Channel, ESPN and ESPN2, as part of an Internet delivered, IP-based multichannel offering.

Additionally, for the first time, Dish customers will be able to access Disney’s authenticated live and video-on-demand products, including WatchESPN, Watch Disney, Watch ABC Family and Watch ABC using Internet devices in the home and on the go.

The agreement will result in dismissal of all pending litigation between the two companies, including disputes over PrimeTime Anytime and AutoHop. As part of the accord, Dish will disable AutoHop functionality for ABC content within the C3 ratings window. The deal also provides a structure for other advertising models as the market evolves, including dynamic ad insertion, advertising on mobile devices and extended advertising measurement periods.

Dish CEO, president Joseph P. Clayton said, “The creation of this agreement has really been about predicting the future of television with a visionary and forward-leaning partner. Not only will the exceptional Disney, ABC, ESPN entertainment portfolio continue to delight our customers today, but we have a model from which to deliver exciting new services tomorrow.”

Disney Media Networks Co-Chairman, Disney/ABC Television Group president Anne Sweeney said, “We knew early on we had a responsibility with this deal to not only do what was best for our business, but to also position our industry for future growth. After months of hard work and out-of-the box thinking on both sides, led by Bob Iger and Charlie Ergen, this agreement, one of the most complex and comprehensive we’ve ever undertaken, achieves just that. Not only were innovative business solutions reached on complicated current issues, we also planned for the evolution of our industry.”

ESPN president, Disney Media Networks co-chairman John Skipper said, “We worked with DISH to smartly address the future of the multi-screen world on several levels. Together, we are adding value to the traditional video subscription by making great content accessible across platforms and delivering new products, including our WatchESPN authenticated networks, the highly anticipated launch of the SEC ESPN Network, expanded distribution for Longhorn Network, and a reimagined ESPN Classic video-on-demand channel. At the same time, we are creating opportunities to add new subscribers and introducing the value of a multichannel subscription to a small subset of broadband-only consumers.”

Dish executive VP, chief commercial officer Dave Shull said, “This agreement allows us to bring more innovation to the customer experience, including new marketing, packaging and delivery options. This paves the way for more customer choice and control over the viewing experience.”

Dish will make available Disney Junior, Fusion, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater, as well as Longhorn Network and the upcoming SEC ESPN Network upon its launch. In addition, Dish, ESPN and ESPN Deportes customers will have access to the live and video-on-demand channel ESPN3.

As part of the agreement, Dish will launch ESPNews, ESPNU, Disney Channel and ABC Family in high definition. ESPN Classic will be reintroduced as a video-on-demand channel.

The rights package gives Dish customer access to video-on-demand content at home, on computers and on-the-go through the Dish Anywhere app for tablets and smartphones, including:

  • ABC On Demand is a fast forward-disabled service that features a selection of top-rated primetime entertainment programming, including episodes of current ABC shows like ‘Scandal’, ‘Castle’, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, ‘Once Upon A Time’ and ‘Revenge’.
  • ABC Family On Demand, which features a variety of top-rated full episodes, refreshed monthly, from shows like ‘The Fosters’, ‘Switched at Birth’, ‘Baby Daddy’ and ‘Melissa and Joey’.
  • 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 ‘Mickey Mouse Clubhouse’, ‘Sofia the First’ and ‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates’ for preschoolers, as well as variety of episodes from ‘A.N.T. Farm’, ‘Liv and Maddie’, ‘Jessie’ and other 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 content from ESPN Deportes and ESPN’s content from ESPN Films.

The companies also renewed carriage agreement for ABC’s eight owned local stations, including WABC-TV in New York City, KABC-TV in Los Angeles, WLS-TV in Chicago, WPVI-TV in Philadelphia, KGO-TV in San Francisco, WTVD-TV in Raleigh-Durham, KTRK-TV in Houston, and KFSN in Fresno.