New York - Comcast will soon offer cable TV customers access to WatchESPN -- expanding the reach of the live-sports streaming service to 40 million households -- and also will become the first pay-TV provider to offer live and on-demand "TV Everywhere" content from Disney's three children's cable networks, said Matt Murphy, Disney & ESPN Media Networks senior vice president of digital video distribution.
"We've been acquiring [multiplatform] rights to our content for years," said Murphy, speaking at "TV in a Multi-Platform World," presented by Multichannel News, B&C and TV Technology. "We want to bring that TV experience to other devices."
Initially, the Disney networks will have TV Everywhere apps for Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. Content available to Comcast subscribers on the Watch Disney Channel, Watch Disney XD and Watch Disney Junior services will include a live simulcast of each network plus on-demand content. The amount of on-demand programming will be roughly comparable to what Disney makes available on conventional VOD, Murphy said.
Comcast is launching WatchESPN and the authenticated content from the Disney networks under an expansive 10-year deal the MSO inked with the media company in January.