Disney Channel Joins the March Toward TV Everywhere

New App Expected as Soon as Next Week

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Disney Channel will introduce its own TV Everywhere app as early as next week, Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger said Wednesday at an investor conference.

'Phineas and Ferb' on the Disney Channel
'Phineas and Ferb' on the Disney Channel

The app will be similar to the WatchESPN service, which allows cable and other pay-TV subscribers to "authenticate" to view ESPN content on mobile devices. Deals with distributors such as Comcast have increased its availability to 40 million cable subscribers now from roughly half that last year. ESPN is a Disney Channel sibling within Walt Disney Co.

TV networks have been increasingly embracing TV Everywhere, the industry term for letting paying cable and satellite customers watch TV on mobile devices. The strategy is intended to make cable and satellite subscriptions more appealing and undermine the threat from streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu.

Disney Channel's app will initially work for Comcast subscribers, a result of the expanded TV rights agreement struck in January between Disney Channel and the cable giant.

Mr. Iger said TV Everywhere benefits both consumers and cable operators by letting consumers watch channels anywhere as opposed to just in their homes. "I think that 's an important step because it delivers more value to the multichannel distributor and it delivers more value to the customer," he said.

Walt Disney Co. also plans to offer similar apps for other networks, including ABC Family and ABC, Mr. Iger said, but he did not say when that might happen.

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