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Disney Reaches Distribution Agreement With Verizon Fios

The Walt Disney Co. and Verizon said they have reached a new distribution agreement that will stave off a potential blackout of networks including ESPN on Fios systems.

“Verizon and The Walt Disney Company have reached a broad-based distribution agreement. Details will be released in the coming days,” the companies said in a statement released Sunday morning.

The agreement would presumably include retransmission consent for ABC owned stations in New York and Philadelphia. It would also cover Disney-owned cable networks such as Freeform and Disney Channel.

The agreement would mean Fios subscribers will get to see college bowl games and an NFL wild-card game on ESPN, in addition to news and weather on the ABC stations.

Many distribution agreements expire at the end of the year. Tribune, Nexstar and Tegna stations in some markets have agreements coming up with carriers including Charter (which might lose Tribune stations on Jan. 1), Cox and Mediacom.

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.