Comcast late last week reached a multiyear retransmission agreement with Disney, according to a Comcast executive. After laboring under contract extensions for two days shy of a year, Disney granted retransmission of its owned-and-operated ABC station signals in exchange for carriage of Toon Disney, SoapNet, and Disney Channel.
The Comcast executive said Disney acquiesced to more limited carriage for SoapNet and Toon Disney and a lower license fee for Disney Channel than it was originally demanding. Comcast, in turn, agreed to widely distribute Disney Channel as a basic network, one of the sticking points that caused Time Warner to cut off Disney-owned ABC signals in major cities last May.
Time Warner ended up paying 70 cents per subscriber for the Disney Channel instead of getting a premium fee split. Out of about 70 million Disney Channel households, only some 500,000 remain premium.