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Disney, Verizon Sign Pact to Expand 'Watch' Services on FiOS TV

Various "Watch Disney" and "Watch ABC"
authenticated services will be available to FiOS TV subscribers under a pact
announced on Thursday by Verizon and the Disney and ESPN Media Networks Group.

FiOS TV also will add Fusion, the upcoming English-language
channel from ABC and Univision, when it launches later this year.

FiOS TV subscribers already have access to the Watch ESPN
service via the Web and the related app.

The companies said in a release that FiOS customers will
have access to the authenticated online services Watch ABC (in markets where it
is available), Watch Disney Channel, Watch Disney XD and Watch Disney Junior
and the yet-to-be-launched Watch ABC Family service. Those services enable
in-home or out-of-home access to live streams of the channels or certain of
their on-demand programs to viewers who are "authenticated" as being eligible
by their pay-TV provider.

FiOS TV customers can watch the ABC or Disney programming
via the "My Verizon" portal with a username and password or gain access via
apps available for Apple or Android computers, tablets or smart phones. Verizon
said the ABC and Disney channels will bring to 53 the number of networks in the
FiOS TV "TV everywhere" lineup. A Disney spokesperson said the channels were
slated to be added to My Verizon by 4 p.m. ET Thursday and that FiOS TV
subscribers are now eligible to use the various Watch services via apps or websites such as
Verizon representatives confirmed the 4
p.m. expected addition of the services to the My Verizon portal
but said the ABC stations won't be visible until the end of July.

The Watch ABC service is currently available in
New York; Philadelphia; Los Angeles; Chicago; San Francisco and Raleigh-Durham,
N.C., with launches planned for Houston and Fresno, Calif., this fall, Disney
said. It provides viewers with live access to ABC stations and local market
programming plus on-demand content.

Kent Gibbons

Kent has been a journalist, writer and editor at Multichannel News since 1994 and with Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He is a good point of contact for anything editorial at the publications and for Before joining Multichannel News he had been a newspaper reporter with publications including The Washington Times, The Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal and North County News. He got his bachelor's degree at Pace University in Westchester County, N.Y.