AT&T U-verse, Disney expand relationship

AT&T (NYSE: T) and the Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) have agreed to a long-term distribution deal under which AT&T will be able to show Disney content on U-verse-connected devices beyond the traditional living room experience.

In addition, the deal calls for AT&T U-verse to introduce "several new services," including the full suite of authenticated Disney WATCH products and the still-to-come ABC News/Univision joint venture network for English-dominant and bilingual Hispanics, the two companies said in a news release. 

While carrying more channels is commonplace for many contract extensions, the agreement to move that content across multiple platforms is increasingly important--if not essential--to multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) as they battle competition from OTT content providers, a point Jeff Weber, president of content and advertising sales for AT&T Home Solutions, made in the news release. 

"Our U-verse customers expect access to content when they want it, where they want it, and this renewal gives them more value and access to a variety of live and on demand content in and outside the home," Weber said.

With this deal, Disney now has struck agreements with seven of its top 10 distributors in the past two years, said David Preschlack, executive vice president of affiliate sales and marketing for Disney and ESPN Networks Group, who also acknowledged the power of the multiscreen portion of the contract.

"Viewers are increasingly living in a multiscreen world and, with this new deal, they will enjoy such benefits as live access to content via the WATCH Disney and WatchESPN services across platforms," Preschlack said.

Being a programmer, he also pointed out that the deal "extends the value of the multichannel subscription model with the addition of new networks and services from The Walt Disney Company."

For more:
- AT&T and Disney issued this press release

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