Verizon and the Disney and ESPN Media Networks Group (DEMN) on Thursday (Oct. 7) entered into a long-term, wide-ranging agreement that will continue to provide Verizon customers with the Disney and ESPN services they already receive, as well as future access to new services, including ESPN Goal Line, ESPN 3D, Disney Junior, mobile programming and live online streaming of several ESPN networks.
"We're very excited to begin offering our FiOS subscribers this new variety of ESPN and Disney programming," said Terry Denson, Verizon vice president for content strategy and acquisition. "We continue to meet the goal of providing our customers with the newest programming available on every platform, whether it's on the TV screen, online or on mobile devices."
Added David Preschlack, executive vice president, affiliate sales and marketing, DEMN: "This new agreement represents the ever-evolving landscape of the media industry. Gone are the days of linear channel distribution only - we are tasked with helping our affiliates grow their businesses on multiple platforms, and this deal reflects that. With new broadband and on-demand services, Verizon FiOS TV subscribers will have better access than ever to our vast array of content."
The new services included in the agreement are:
- ESPN Goal Line, a super-highlight channel available to FiOS TV customers as of Oct. 9. ESPN Goal Line takes fans around to some of the best matchups during the NCAA football season. The network includes live look-ins of game action, focusing on scoring drives and up-to-the minute commentary from analysts and experts. Goal Line, available at no additional cost for customers who subscribe to FiOS TV's Extreme HD or Ultimate HD package, airs on Saturdays in HD on FiOS TV Channel 571 from noon until games are complete, around 11:30 p.m. ET. A similar service, called ESPN Buzzer Beater, will be available for the college basketball season. Goal Line will be available in all FiOS TV markets except for the Washington, D.C., metro area and Harrisburg, Pa., due to local affiliate exclusivity agreements.
- ESPN 3D, scheduled to launch for Verizon FiOS TV subscribers in 2011.
- New authenticated services, which will give Verizon's FiOS TV customers the opportunity to watch ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Goal Line and ESPN Buzzer Beater live online on their PC or on Internet devices like tablets. FiOS TV customers will be able to access the programming via ESPN's websites as well as the FiOS TV Online website in the coming months.
- Disney Junior, the recently announced, 24-hour basic channel for preschool-age children, parents and caregivers. The new channel, available to Verizon FiOS TV customers upon its debut in 2012, will feature animated and live action programming that blends Disney's unparalleled storytelling and beloved characters with learning, including early math, language skills, healthy eating, and lifestyles and social skills.
- Signature programming from Disney XD and ABC Family is expected to be available on Verizon Wireless' V CAST Video later this year.
The new ESPN and Disney programming will join FiOS TV's broad collection of programming, with more than 520 all-digital channels including up to 140 HD channels and 18,000 monthly video-on-demand titles. FiOS also provides next-generation interactive services including an advanced interactive media guide; social networking, news and entertainment widgets; remote DVR management via broadband or cell phone; and more.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 92 million customers nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world. A Dow 30 company, Verizon last year generated consolidated revenues of more than $107 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.
About Disney Media Networks
Disney Media Networks comprise a vast array of The Walt Disney Company's (NYSE: DIS) broadcast, cable, radio, publishing and Internet businesses, including Disney/ABC Television Group and ESPN, Inc. The Disney/ABC Television Group is composed of The Walt Disney Company's global entertainment and news television properties, including the ABC Television Network, ABC Studios, Disney Channels Worldwide, ABC Family and SOAPnet, as well as Disney/ABC Domestic Television and Disney Media Distribution. ESPN, Inc., The Worldwide Leader in Sports, is the leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring the broadest portfolio of multimedia sports assets with over 50 business entities.