AP News

Disney, Cablevision reach deal without dispute


NEW YORK (AP) — The Walt Disney Co. and Cablevision Systems Corp. announced a multi-year deal on Thursday that gives Cablevision's TV subscribers new access to ESPN on mobile devices and gives Disney its first distributor for a 24/7 news channel aimed at Hispanic audiences.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The agreement is a notable change from a public dispute two years ago, when Cablevision subscribers lost about 15 minutes of the Oscars telecast on Disney's ABC due to a blackout stemming from a fight over fees. That fight was due in part to a new Disney demand to be paid in cash for carrying ABC signals, which it previously offered for free. With that dispute behind them, the companies were able to discuss new services.

Channel blackouts have become more common over the last few years as TV distributors and media companies have fought over increasing fees. But deals that add mobile access to channel packages, like the kind that Disney and Comcast Corp. announced in January, have helped smooth over differences.

In total 70 channels or services are included in the new contract with Cablevision. Among them is an around-the-clock news channel, a joint venture between ABC News and Univision, which aims to target young Hispanic audiences with English-language content.

Cablevision shares rose 27 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $16.74 in afternoon trading Thursday. Disney shares rose 3 cents to $52.50.


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