By: Jeff Simmermon at 05:30 pm
Attention football fans, princess lovers, and Wife-Swap watchers … It warms the core of my leathery corporate heart to bring you the following announcement:
We’re pleased to announce that we have reached a long-term agreement with ESPN/ABC and Disney to provide for continued carriage of a broad array of Disney/ABC and ESPN networks and services in standard and high-definition, including:
ABC Family, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Channel on Demand (subscription video on demand), ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Pay-Per-View, and Toon Disney.
The agreement also allows for the launch of the following networks and services:
- Disney Junior, a new 24-hour basic channel for preschool-age children, parents and caregivers launching in 2012.
- ESPN3.com – ESPN’s live sports broadband network will be available to all Time Warner Cable subscribers who get ESPN.
- A new service allowing customers to view ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU through broadband and mobile Internet devices
- ESPN Goal Line – a college football super-highlight channel will be available only to Time Warner Cable’s Sports Pass customers starting as early as September 4, 2010;
- ESPN Buzzer Beater: a college basketball service similar to ESPN Goal Line, will be available to Time Warner Cable’s Sports Pass customers for college basketball season;
- Expanded Video-on-demand services: including ABC On Demand, Disney-branded On Demand offerings for kids, local sports content in select markets, plus the subscription video-on-demand service “Disney Family Movies”
- Start Over and Look Back features on a variety of Disney Media Networks content.
- ESPN Deportes: available to a larger Time Warner Cable footprint
- ESPN 3D.
It looks like sports fans are getting a fair bit of new content through this deal — good for you guys! I know I’ve gotten a lot of questions about ESPN3 over the last year, intensifying in recent weeks. I’m pretty excited to be part of providing our customers the content that they want.
These negotiations are fun for nobody. They mean a lot of long hours, white-collar fire drills and last-minute tension timed to stain the closest holiday. I know that to everyone following this at home, it reads like two enormous corporate giants slugging it out. Before I worked here, I just sort of pictured a gigantic robot mouse slugging this out with a colossal hovering set-top box like Godzilla vs. Mothra or something.
Here’s the reality: most of both teams spent the night in the office last night. They didn’t sleep. Not, like, slept poorly, or got into a bed and tossed and turned, but were literally in the office overnight working. One of our people has a four year-old son who went off to his first day of school today while his dad was in the office sweating this thing out. Some negotiators on both sides have kids who went off to college while their parents were working on this.
The end result is this: both sides put in a tremendous amount of work at no small sacrifice to their personal lives to bring you a lot of great content without interruption.
Thanks again for your patience, and have a great Labor Day weekend.
I know that you’re all really excited to get ESPN3. However, I don’t know any more details on ESPN3, as we just signed the agreement Thursday evening before a holiday weekend.
It is going to take some time to work this out operationally, and I’ll share more details when I have them. This blog will likely be the first place that we announce the rollouts — but for right now, I don’t know when that’s going to happen. As soon as I know, I’ll post about it.