The Walt Disney Co. expanded its pact with Qualcomm's FLO TV unit to offer subscribers a separately programmed ABC Mobile channel -- to include a pick of the broadcaster's primetime shows and content from ABC Family and SoapNet -- and a simulcast of Disney Channel.
Content from Disney's ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNews is already carried on the ESPN Mobile TV channel on FLO. With ABC in the mix, the Qualcomm service now offers dedicated channels from the four biggest broadcasters.
The FLO TV service is available from AT&T and Verizon Wireless, and the company has begun selling its own $250 dedicated portable TV and hopes to offer the service in automobiles, as well through a deal with Audiovox. Qualcomm does not disclose how many mobile TV subscribers FLO serves.
"We are dedicated to connecting viewers to the content they want and brands they love on the platforms they choose and are pleased that in addition to having access to high-quality, popular sports programming from ESPN, users of the FLO TV service will now be able to see their favorite shows from ABC and Disney Channel," said Matt Murphy, Disney and ESPN Media Networks' senior vice president, digital video distribution.
The FLO TV lineup of channels now includes ABC Mobile, Adult Swim, CBS Mobile, CNBC, Comedy Central, Disney Channel, ESPN Mobile TV, Fox Mobile, Fox News Channel, NBC2Go, Nickelodeon, MSNBC and MTV. In addition, AT&T offers CNN Mobile TV and Sony's Crackle exclusively through FLO, while Verizon exclusively offers MTV Tr3s.
Disney Channel will run a simulcast on the FLO TV service, with such shows as Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place and The Suite Life on Deck, as well as original telefilms.
The ABC Mobile channel will include full-length episodes of popular primetime shows such as Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, FlashForward, Ugly Betty and Lost (when it returns in February 2010), as well as select content from ABC Family and SoapNet and short-form content from ABC Entertainment and ABC News.
ESPN MobileTV currently provides coverage of more than 800 live events per year, including college football and basketball and some Major League Baseball games. Through the expanded agreement with Disney, FLO TV subscribers will have access to previously unavailable ESPN games via the ABC Mobile channel.
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