Verizon FiOS and The Walt Disney Company announced a wide-ranging agreement allowing FiOS subscribers to watch a number of ESPN offerings live online. At the same time, they announced carriage agreements for a number of Disney cable channels and a retransmission consent deal for the ABC owned and operated TV stations.
“Expanding our online video content to include the ESPN networks provides our FiOS customers with some of the best in sports programming, right at their fingertips,” said Terry Denson, vice president of content strategy and acquisition for Verizon. “Whether watching FiOS on your TV, PC or mobile device, Verizon continues to make it easy for customers to view a growing amount of programming while on the go.”
The new online part of the agreement means that FiOS TV customers are now able to watch ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN Buzzer Beater live online.
The online rights to the ESPN networks are part of a broader agreement, which also includes the full suite of Disney cable channels: ABC Family, Disney Channel, Disney XD and the soon-to-be-launched Disney Junior. In addition, FiOS also signed to cover retransmission consent for local ABC O&O stations. No terms were revealed.
“Offering our live networks online further demonstrates our commitment to serving sports fans, and we couldn’t do it without the cooperation of forward-thinking distributors like Verizon FiOS. From today forward, FiOS TV customers can choose to watch ESPN on their big screen or on their computer screen – it’s a real sea change in our business and an indication of where our industry is heading,” said David Preschlack, executive vice president, Disney and ESPN Media Networks.