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Disney, Comcast Bow On Demand Pact

21 Nov, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

The Walt Disney Company and Comcast Corp. Nov. 21 announced a long-term content-distribution agreement that will for the first time make ABC TV prime-time programming available for video-on-demand viewing on cable.

The deal, which begins in 2007, includes movies from Disney, Touchstone and Miramax Studios, with new VOD releases available for $3.99 and library titles available for $2.99.

Initial titles include Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, Invincible and The Guardian.

Starting Fall 2007, on-demand episodes of ABC TV series “Desperate Housewives,” “Lost” and two, new yet-to-be determined series will be available for free the day after their network broadcast in markets served by ABC-owned stations, including New York; Philadelphia; Chicago; San Francisco; Houston; Fresno, Calif.; and Flint, Mich.

Additional Disney programming includes content from the Disney Channel, ABC Family, Toon Disney, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN Classic, ESPN News, ESPN HD and SoapNet.

“This is one the broadest distribution agreements in the history of our company,” said Bob Iger, president and CEO of Disney.

In a related matter, Comcast acquired Disney's 39.5% stake in E! Networks, which includes E! Entertainment Television and Style Network, for $1.23 billion.

In 2004, Comcast made an unsuccessful $54 billion bid for Disney, an offer that would have created the world's largest media company.

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