Disney, Comcast Sign Long-Term Accord for Rights to Cable, Broadcast Shows

Comcast Will Carry Disney's New 24-Hour Channel for Preschoolers

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Walt Disney Co. reached a long-term agreement with Comcast Corp.that provides cable TV subscribers with programs on TVs, computers and mobile devices.

The agreement comes a year before existing accords expire and will run for a decade, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who wasn't authorized to speak publicly.

The long-term agreement with Comcast , the largest U.S. pay-TV company with 20.3 million video subscribers at the end of the third quarter, averts the fee disputes that interrupt cable service and anger viewers. Time Warner Cable and the MSG network, which carries Knicks basketball and Rangers hockey games, are currently embroiled in a retransmission dispute that has darkened MSG for that service's subscribers.

The Walt Walt Disney Co. Co.-Comcast deal also means that for the first time, customers of Comcast 's Xfinity TV will be able to watch ESPN, Disney and ABC shows live or on demand on multiple screens, according to a statement from the companies today.

The agreement will deliver 70 separate services from Disney , ABC and ESPN to customers of Philadelphia-based Comcast , the companies said in the statement.

The accord includes Disney cable channels and ABC broadcast stations owned by the Burbank, California-based company, according to the statement. Comcast will introduce Disney Junior, a new 24-hour basic cable channel for preschoolers, the companies said.

In August 2010, Comcast signed a similar 10-year accord with CBS Corp. for access to the company's Showtime premium cable network and its TV stations.

-- Bloomberg News --

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