Disney and AT&T's UVerse renew vows, expand the relationship

Disney and AT&T today announced a multi-year extension to their already existing relationship, which brings approximately 70 channels to AT&T's U-verse cable network. The new "long-term distribution agreement" also adds a handful of new content, including the return of ESPN 3D and a new ABC/Univision collaborative channel aimed at English-dominant and bilingual Hispanics. That adds to the already robust lineup, which features biggies like ESPN and ABC. It's unclear what money exchanged hands in the deal or how long it'll last -- no specifics are given for either -- but it's safe to say your Disney-owned channels are secure for now, U-verse users.

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The Walt Disney Company and AT&T U-verse Announce Broad Distribution Agreement

New Multi-Year Deal Provides Sports, News and Entertainment to AT&T U-verse Customers In and Out of the Home. AT&T U-verse to add Full Suite of Authenticated WATCH Services
Dallas, Texas, Bristol , Connecticuit , January 15, 2013

AT&T U-verse®, the fastest growing television service provider in the country*, 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 AT&T U-verse TV customers across televisions, computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and internet-enabled televisions. The renewal agreement enhances the multichannel business model and supports the companies' mutual goal to deliver the best video content to customers across multiple platforms.

As part of the new multi-year deal, AT&T U-verse will introduce several new services, including the full suite of authenticated WATCH products, ESPN 3D, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater, Disney Junior and the upcoming ABC News/Univision Joint Venture, a 24/7 news, information and lifestyle multi-platform network for English-dominant and bilingual Hispanics, the youngest and fastest-growing demographic in the U.S. In total, approximately 70 services are covered by the broad scope of this agreement including: ABC, ABC Family, 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, The Longhorn Network, and retransmission consent for WABC-TV, KABC-TV, WLS-TV, KGO-TV, KTRK-TV, WTVD-TV and KFSN-TV, as well as more than 10 high-definition networks.

AT&T U-verse customers will receive broad access to existing authenticated products like WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH Disney XD, WATCH Disney Junior and WatchESPN (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPN Goal Line and ESPN Buzzer Beater) as well as the to-be-launched WATCH ABC and WATCH ABC Family services, through the networks' own WATCH sites and apps as well as AT&T's U-verse.com site and apps. These products will give AT&T U-verse 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. ESPN3 will also be available to any residential AT&T High Speed Internet customer, across screens and devices.

"We're proud to deliver more Disney content and services to U-verse customers across the screens they watch most," said Jeff Weber, President of Content and Advertising Sales, AT&T Home Solutions. "Our U-verse customers expect access to content when they want it, where they want it, and this renewal gives them more value and access to a variety of live and on demand content in and outside the home."

Added David Preschlack, Executive Vice President, Affiliate Sales and Marketing, Disney & ESPN Networks Group, "The renewal with AT&T U-verse – our seventh top ten distributor agreement in just over two years – extends the value of the multichannel subscription model with the addition of new networks and services from The Walt Disney Company. Viewers are increasingly living in a multi-screen world, and with this new deal, they will enjoy such benefits as live access to content via the WATCH Disney and WatchESPN services across platforms."

The extensive and expanded rights package for Video On Demand content to AT&T U-verse TV customers includes:

ABC On Demand, which currently features a selection of top-rated primetime entertainment programming, including episodes of such popular current ABC shows as "Castle," "Grey's Anatomy," "Once Upon A Time," "Private Practice" and "Revenge." Full current seasons will be made available on a number of shows.
ABC Family On Demand, which features a variety of top-rated full episodes, refreshed monthly, from such popular millennial favorites as "Switched at Birth," "The Secret Life of the American Teenager," "Baby Daddy," "Bunheads" and "Melissa & Joey." Full current seasons will be made available on a number of shows. ABC Family original movies like "Mistle-Tones" will also be available.
Disney-branded On Demand offerings, including Disney Channel On Demand, Disney Junior On Demand, and Disney XD On Demand. Refreshed each month, the Disney Channel On Demand offering will include episodes from such series as "Handy Manny," "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse," and "Jake and the Never Land Pirates" for preschoolers, as well as variety of episodes from "A.N.T. Farm," "Good Luck Charlie," "Jessie," and other popular series for older kids. Select episodes featured on Disney Channel On Demand will be available in innovative new offerings, such as playlists and monthly programming blocks, in addition to a number of episodes available in multiple languages. A variety of Disney Channel Original Movies will also be available. Disney XD On Demand features a selection of episodes from such series as the Emmy Award-winning animated hit "Phineas and Ferb," "Pair of Kings" and "Kickin' It."
Expanded On Demand content from ESPN, including content from ESPN Deportes and ESPN's award-winning original content from ESPN Films.
*Claim based on comparison of major TV providers' percentage growth in subscriber counts and national market share data over the last 12 quarters combined.