This is a nice present to DirecTV subscribers which includes your humble blogger. The satellite provider and the Walt Disney Company have signed a comprehensive, multi-year deal that includes ESPN and its vast family of networks.
Not only does it keep ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews, ESPN Deportes and SEC Network on the system’s lineup, it adds the seasonal ESPN Goal Line and Buzzer Beater channels plus Longhorn Network.
In even better news, it allows subscribers to gain access to WatchESPN. DirecTV subscribers had been long awaiting to watch events on WatchESPN and the online ESPN3 channel, but could not.
As a result of this new agreement, ESPN Classic will be removed from DirecTV’s lineup and it will be a strictly video on-demand service.
No financial details of the agreement were announced, but suffice to say that this will keep ESPN and its affiliated networks on DirecTV for a long time to come and our bills will go up. They never go down.
Here’s the joint DirecTV/Walt Disney press release.
DIRECTV AND THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY SIGN EXPANSIVE AGREEMENT
New Multi-Year Deal to Deliver Best in Sports, News and Entertainment to DIRECTV Customers, In and Out of the Home
Adds Fusion, Longhorn Network, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN3, SEC Network + and the Full Suite of Live Linear and On-Demand via DIRECTV Everywhere and Authenticated WATCH Services
Expanded Video-On-Demand Content Available to DIRECTV Customers at Home, On-The-Go
El Segundo, Calif. and Burbank, Calif. – December 23, 2014 — The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) and DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV) today announced a wide-ranging, multi-year distribution agreement that will provide DIRECTV customers with access to Disney’s robust lineup of top quality sports, news, kids and entertainment content across televisions, computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and other connected devices.
The renewal agreement supports the companies’ mutual goal to deliver the best video content to customers across multiple platforms by strengthening the value of the multichannel video subscription.
“This new agreement brings DIRECTV’s already unmatched content offering and experience to a whole new level. It also allows both companies to evolve together into the future and gives DIRECTV customers a wide range of in-home and out-of-home viewing options to enjoy the broad collection of ESPN, Disney and ABC content,” said Dan York, Chief Content Officer at DIRECTV. “It’s an immense and exciting undertaking to work together to shape the future of content consumption and the possibilities are endless.”
David Preschlack, Executive Vice President, Affiliate Sales and Marketing, Disney and ESPN Media Networks, added: “We have a stellar reputation for working in close collaboration with our distribution partners to strengthen the value of the multichannel video subscription. Our new agreement with DIRECTV reinforces that approach and brings to a successful conclusion the renewal over the past several years of deals with each of our top ten affiliates. Not only will DIRECTV customers continue to receive all the great content they currently have, but they will now be able to access it on digital platforms through our authenticated WATCH products as well as receive new services as part of their subscription, including Fusion, Longhorn Network, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater and ESPN3 also on television.”
DIRECTV customers will be able to access the live linear feeds and video-on-demand content from all ESPN and Disney cable networks and ABC owned and operated TV stations in and out of the home on the authenticated WATCH services – including WatchESPN, WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH Disney XD, WATCH Disney Junior, WATCH ABC Family and WATCH ABC – using Internet-enabled devices in early 2015 and soon via the DIRECTV Everywhere app on iOS and Android phones and tablets, and directv.com. Other new services to be introduced as part of the deal include Fusion, Longhorn Network, ESPN Goal Line and ESPN Buzzer Beater. DIRECTV customers will also be able to utilize expanded viewing functionality on select content across Disney/ESPN/ABC channels, and will have access to ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, ESPN3, and SEC Network’s digital platform, SEC Network +. The companies will also explore new opportunities with respect to potential over-the-top (OTT) offerings.
Continuing services covered by the broad scope of this multi-year agreement include: ABC Family, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Deportes, ESPNEWS and SEC Network. In addition, ESPN Classic will be reintroduced as a video-on-demand service. The companies also renewed carriage agreement for ABC’s eight owned local stations, including WABC-TV in New York City, KABC-TV in Los Angeles, WLS-TV in Chicago, WPVI-TV in Philadelphia, KGO-TV in San Francisco, WTVD-TV in Raleigh-Durham, KTRK-TV in Houston, and KFSN in Fresno.
The extensive and expanded rights package gives DIRECTV customers access to video-on-demand content at home and on-the-go through DIRECTV Everywhere on their computers, tablets and smartphones, including:
- ABC On Demand, a service that features a selection of top-rated primetime entertainment programming, including episodes of such popular current ABC shows as “Scandal,” Castle,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Once Upon A Time” and “Revenge.”
- ABC Family On Demand, which features a variety of top-rated full episodes, refreshed monthly, from such popular millennial favorites as “The Fosters,” ”Switched at Birth,” “Baby Daddy” and “Melissa & Joey.”
- 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 “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” “Sofia the First” and “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” for preschoolers, as well as variety of episodes from “A.N.T. Farm,” “Liv and Maddie,” “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.
That will do it.