Comcast, ABC News, and Walt Disney Internet Group Sign Landmark Broadband Distribution Deal
Comcast,the nation's leading broadband Internet provider, ABC News and the Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) today announced one of the industry's most comprehensive broadband content distribution deals to date.
This agreement makes ABC News on demand video and ABC News Live, 24/7 live streaming news programming, immediately and easily accessible to Comcast's 5.7+ million High-Speed Internet customers, at no additional cost. Comcast also announced today that it plans to launch an online Kids Channel. Disney will provide Disney Connection, its broadband entertainment destination for kids ages 3-11, to support Comcast's launch planned for later this year. This will mark the first North American launch of the internationally popular Disney Connection.
ABC News on Comcast.net
Reports from across all ABC News broadcasts are now available on Comcast.net's Internet News Channel - the site's most popular channel. Comcast High-Speed Internet customers can now watch Nightline in its entirety, as well as on demand news reports from World News Tonight, Good Morning America, This Week, 20/20 and Primetime Live.
In addition to this expansive offering of on demand programming, ABC News Live also launches today on Comcast.net. ABC News Live, a built-for-broadband streaming application, delivers live breaking news events, hourly news briefs, and reports from ABC News correspondents. Beginning July 26, ABC News Live will provide unprecedented coverage of the national conventions, with Peter Jennings anchoring nightly gavel-to-gavel programming from Boston and New York. Regularly scheduled programming includes a daily political newscast, Politics Live, airing at 1:00 p.m. ET and a one-hour special, Vote 2004, at 7:00 p.m. ET during the conventions.
Comcast's Kids Channel with Disney Connection
Comcast will leverage the premier content of Disney Connection for its upcoming online Kids Channel, a safe interactive environment designed for today's broadband family. This channel is designed to further extend Comcast's broadband offering, with content that parents trust to educate and entertain their children. Forty percent of Comcast High-Speed Internet households include kids. Disney Connection includes a regularly updated slate of games, activities and video from Disney, as well as select access to premium Disney offerings: Disney's Blast (www.disneyblast.com), and Disney's Toontown Online (www.toontown.com).
Disney Connection basic and premium content will evolve over time. A premium, interactive educational service for preschoolers, in development now and slated for launch in 2005, will be added to Disney Connection.
"Delivering content from well-known and well-trusted brands over a true broadband network is key to providing our customers the best possible broadband Internet experience. This agreement with Disney and ABC News enables us to add significant value to our customers' lives - specifically in areas of high interest including, kids, news, and entertainment. Furthermore, by providing our customers with a dedicated kids channel and offering built-for-broadband services such as ABC News Live, we can continue to provide an unparalleled broadband Internet experience," said Greg Butz, senior vice president, marketing and business development for Comcast's online business.
"Our agreement with Disney marks one of the most comprehensive broadband agreements in our industry to date. The power of combining best-in-class content with built-for-broadband applications cannot be underestimated," Butz concluded. "Broadband offers exciting new opportunities for us to bring quality news programming to our audiences in new ways at a time when the interest in news and politics couldn't be greater. We're delighted to team with Comcast, the number one broadband provider, and to introduce Comcast's more than 5.7 million current customers to ABC News Live and our video on-demand programming," said David Westin, President of ABC News.
"We are very happy to extend our Company's relationship with Comcast from cable television content to broadband Internet," said Steve Wadsworth, president, Walt Disney Internet Group. "With the rapid growth in broadband to the home, families are now enjoying appropriate rich-media content, and we are pleased to be working with Comcast to answer this need. The consumer wins through access to advanced content from brands they know and love, which can both help attract new broadband access subscribers and provide existing subscribers with a premier broadband experience."
About ABC News
More Americans get their news from ABC News than from any other source. Through its platforms on television, radio, and the Internet, ABC News reaches an average of more than 200 million people each week. ABC News programs are seen in 88 countries worldwide. David Westin was named president of ABC News in March 1997. ABCNEWS.com and ABC News Live are part of the ABC News Digital Media Group. ABC News launched ABC News Live on ABCNEWS.com in March 2003. Bernard Gershon is senior vice president and general manager of the ABC News Digital Media Group.
About Disney Toontown Online
Disney's Toontown Online is the first massively multiplayer 3D online game created for kids and families and combines elements of traditional video games, online community and strategic role playing games. Among other awards, it has been named 2004 Game Industry News Family Game of the Year and the Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) Game of the Year 2003 by Computer Gaming World. Disney's Blast is an online world of games, stories and activities for kids 3-9. Comcast customers will be offered special rates for full subscriptions to these premium products.
Headquartered in Philadelphia, Comcast Cable is a division of Comcast Corporation, a developer, manager and operator of broadband cable networks and provider of programming content. With a presence in 22 of the top 25 U.S. markets, Comcast is one of the leading communications, media and entertainment companies in theworld. Providing basic cable, Digital Cable, high-speed Internet and telephone services, Comcast is the company to look to first for the communications products and services that connect people to what's important in their lives. The company's 59,000 employees serve more than 21 million customers.
Comcast's premier broadband online service, www.comcast.net features news, weather, and stocks, plus exclusive broadband content with streaming video and high-quality sound. This agreement adds even more valuable on-demand content that can be easily searched and viewed on the site through The Fan™ which contains news clips, interview segments, short animations and movie trailers. Comcast.net was recently ranked the No. 1 most-used broadband portal (May 2004 Nielsen/NetRatings*). Comcast.net features include:
- The Fan, an innovative broadband video player. Since its launch on
www.comcast.net, video usage on the site has increased by a factor of 15.
- The Assistant, a personalized toolbar with always-on utilities such
as weather, sports scores, stock watch lists, horoscopes and much, much more.
Content from leading providers such as E!, G4, The Weather Channel, IFC, Planeta
Networks, Atom Films, and others
- Comcast Rhapsody, the country's leading Internet jukebox service that
provides subscribers with unlimited access to a vast library of music from
all five major labels plus more than 200 independent music labels.
- "AskComcast," an interactive help tool developed using technology
from Conversagent. This interactive agent "chats" with Comcast High-Speed
Internet customers in a conversational personalized way, helping them find
information they desire about their service and its features.
About Walt Disney Internet Group
Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) provides strategic leadership and operational management for The Walt Disney Company's (NYSE:DIS) Internet properties including category leaders Disney.com, ESPN.com and ABCNEWS.com. A market leader in developing and distributing entertainment and informational content to new platforms, WDIG is committed to creating and delivering products for broadband distribution including: ABC News On Demand, a subscription video news service that offers the Internet's first 24-hour, live Internet-only news channel and top ABC News programs for on demand viewing; Disney Connection; and WDIG Motion, a proprietary video technology for broadband users. Through relationships with some of the world's largest wireless carriers, WDIG distributes content and services to wireless users under the Disney, ESPN and ABC brands. Additionally, WDIG has led the way in developing interactive content for televised programming through its Enhanced TV service. Steve Wadsworth is president of WDIG, which is headquartered in North Hollywood and has operations in Seattle, New York, Orlando, Fla., Tokyo and London.