The arrangement, which the companies call a “new early renewal,” is similar to ones that Disney cut this year with Comcast and Cablevision: It’s a “long-term” arrangement, covers 70-plus networks and services (including ABC, ESPN, and the planned ABC News/Univision Joint Venture), and it enables Cox to offer more content via VOD and TV Everywhere. The cable company has rights to offer in-home and out-of-home viewing on computers, smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles for Disney’s line of Watch services: WatchESPN becomes available today, and next week it will introduce WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH Disney XD and WATCH Disney Junior. Cox will have WATCH ABC and WATCH ABC Family when they’re launched. In addition, customers who are at home can use the Cox TV Connect app on their iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch devices to watch live broadcasts of ESPNEWS and ESPN Classic. The number of channels on Cox TV Connect rises to 90 on Monday. Cox is “enabling our customers to access their favorite news, sports and entertainment video content whenever and wherever they want it,” says its Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Mark Greatrex.
Here’s the release:
Cox Communications and The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) today announced a comprehensive long-term distribution agreement to deliver Disney’s robust lineup of top quality sports, news and entertainment content to Cox TV customers across televisions, computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and internet-enabled televisions. The new early renewal agreement enhances the multichannel business model and supports the companies’ common goal to deliver the best video content to customers across multiple platforms.
As part of the new multi-year agreement, WatchESPN (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPN Goal Line and ESPN Buzzer Beater) launches today as the first of TWDC’s existing authenticated products being made available to Cox customers. Additional authenticated products including WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH Disney XD and WATCH Disney Junior will launch next week. The to-be-launched WATCH ABC and WATCH ABC Family services will also be made available to Cox customers. These products will give Cox 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.
In total, approximately 70 services are covered by the broad scope of this agreement, including ABC, ABC Family, ABC News/Univision Joint Venture, 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, Longhorn Network and retransmission consent for KABC-TV, as well as more than 10 high-definition networks.
The companies also announced that ESPNEWS and ESPN Classic will be added to Cox TV Connect, Cox’s proprietary app that allows customers to watch live TV on the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch from anywhere in their homes. Cox is increasing the number of channels on Cox TV Connect to 90, starting Monday, December 17, 2012.
“This comprehensive agreement with The Walt Disney Company enhances the value of our customers’ experience with our products and services,” said Mark Greatrex, Cox Communications senior vice president, chief marketing and sales officer. “Coupled with our investment in our broadband network and the development of innovative services like Cox TV Connect and TV Online, we’re enabling our customers to access their favorite news, sports and entertainment video content whenever and wherever they want it.”