Comcast, Disney Complete Deal

Nov 21, 2006  •  Post A Comment

By Jon Lafeyette and James Hibberd

Comcast Corp. and The Walt Disney Co. completed a long-awaited carriage and content deal on Tuesday that includes the sale of Disney’s minority interest in E! Entertainment to Comcast, giving Comcast full control over the E! and Style networks.

Comcast gets retransmission consent to carry the ABC-owned television stations in Comcast cable markets and an agreement to carry all of the Disney/ABC cable networks, including ESPN and Disney Channel. Comcast systems will add ESPN Deportes to the company’s Spanish-language tier under the agreement. The purchase price for the 39.5 percent ownership stake in E! Networks was $1.23 billion.

Comcast will also get the rights to put some Disney content on its on-demand system. A limited number of ABC shows, notably “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost,” will be on Comcast On Demand. Some shows from the Disney cable networks will also be made available.

Recently released Disney films will also be available on Comcast systems for a fee.

“This is one of the broadest distribution agreements in the history of our company,” said Robert A. Iger, president and CEO of Walt Disney. “Disney’s great brands and great content combined with Comcast’s leading distribution platforms provide an incredibly compelling consumer experience in sports, family, news and entertainment.”