Disney Strikes U-Verse Carriage Deal

The Walt Disney Co. extended its string of comprehensive carriage deals on Tuesday, after the programming giant reached agreement with AT&T’s U-Verse service.

It was Disney’s seventh major carriage deal in the past two years, according to the company. Recently, Disney  reached similar agreements with Comcast in April,  Cablevision Systems in October and Cox Communications,  and Charter Communications in December.

As part of the new multi-year deal, AT&T U-verse will introduce several new services, including the full suite of authenticated WATCH products, ESPN 3D, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater, Disney Junior and the upcoming ABC News/Univision joint venture. In total, approximately 70 services are covered by the broad scope of this agreement, including: ABC, ABC Family, 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, The Longhorn Network, and retransmission consent for WABC-TV, KABC-TV, WLS-TV, KGO-TV, KTRK-TV, WTVD-TV and KFSN-TV, as well as more than 10 high-definition networks.

AT&T U-verse customers will receive broad access to existing authenticated products like WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH Disney XD, WATCH Disney Junior and WatchESPN (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPN Goal Line and ESPN Buzzer Beater), as well as the to-be-launched WATCH ABC and WATCH ABC Family services, through the networks’ own WATCH sites and apps as well as AT&T’s U-verse.com site and apps. These products will give AT&T U-verse 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. ESPN3 will also be available to any residential AT&T High Speed Internet customer, across screens and devices.

“We’re proud to deliver more Disney content and services to U-verse customers across the screens they watch most,” said AT&T Home Solutions president of content Jeff Weber in a statement. “Our U-verse customers expect access to content when they want it, where they want it, and this renewal gives them more value and access to a variety of live and on demand content in and outside the home.”

Disney & ESPN Networks Group executive vice president, affiliate sales and marketing

David Preschlack noted the deal was the seventh top ten distributor agreement the media giant has made in the past two years. He added the addition of new networks and services extends the value of the multichannel subscription model.

“Viewers are increasingly living in a multi-screen world, and with this new deal, they will enjoy such benefits as live access to content via the WATCH Disney and WatchESPN services across platforms,” Preschlack said in a statement.

As part of the deal U-Verse customers will receve access to On Demand content from Disney’s ABC and ABC Family networks as well as Disney-branded VOD content like Disney Channel On Demand, Disney Junior On Demand, and Disney XD On Demand. A variety of Disney Channel Original Movies will also be available. Subscribers also will get expanded VOD content from ESPN, including content from ESPN Deportes and ESPN’s award-winning original content from ESPN Films.