Separately, the Two Companies Reached an Agreement for Retransmission Consent for ABC Owned Stations
NEW YORK – As part of a wide-ranging agreement between the Walt Disney Company and Verizon, FiOS TV customers will be able to watch ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN Buzzer Beater live online beginning today. To access the online programming, Verizon customers must subscribe to FiOS TV.
The online rights to the ESPN networks are part of a broader agreement, which also includes the full suite of cable services from the Walt Disney Company: ABC Family, Disney Channel, Disney XD and the soon-to-be-launched Disney Junior, as well as retransmission consent for local ABC broadcast stations.
“Expanding our online video content to include the ESPN networks provides our FiOS customers with some of the best in sports programming, right at their fingertips,” said Terry Denson, vice president of content strategy and acquisition for Verizon. “Whether watching FiOS on your TV, PC or mobile device, Verizon continues to make it easy for customers to view a growing amount of programming while on the go.”
Added David Preschlack, executive vice president, Disney and ESPN Media Networks, “Offering our live networks online further demonstrates our commitment to serving sports fans, and we couldn’t do it without the cooperation of forward-thinking distributors like Verizon FiOS. From today forward, FiOS TV customers can choose to watch ESPN on their big screen or on their computer screen – it’s a real sea change in our business and an indication of where our industry is heading.”
FiOS TV customers will be able to watch ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN Buzzer Beater live on their personal computers or laptops – at home or away – using any broadband connection. Buzzer Beater, which features live cut-ins and highlights from numerous top college basketball games during each Wednesday and Saturday of the college basketball season, is normally only available to FiOS TV customers who subscribe to the Extreme HD or Ultimate HD TV packages but currently will be accessible to Prime TV package customers through a free preview. ESPN Goal Line, a similar service for college football season, will become available for online viewing when football season begins in September for FiOS TV customers subscribing to the Extreme HD or Ultimate HD packages.
Users will have several viewing options for the channels, including picture-in-picture, simultaneous viewing of more than one channel, and full-screen viewing of a single channel. Verizon and ESPN plan to make the programming available on other Internet enabled devices, such as mobile phones and tablets, in the near future.
This new content joins part of Verizon’s high-quality, online video entertainment, which the company has been delivering since 2005. FiOS also offers a broad collection of programming on TV, with more than 520 all-digital channels including up to 142 HD channels and 19,000 monthly video-on-demand titles. FiOS also provides next-generation interactive services including an advanced interactive media guide; social networking, news and entertainment widgets; remote DVR management via broadband or cell phone; and more.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, serving 94.1 million customers nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 194,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.
About ESPN, Inc.
ESPN, Inc., is the world’s leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of more than 50 multimedia sports assets. The company is comprised of six 24-hour domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes) and ESPN 3D, an event-based network. ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPNEWS HD are simulcast services. Other businesses include ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (46 networks, syndication, radio, websites), ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN3.com (broadband sports network) ESPN Mobile, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN PPV and other growing new businesses, including ESPN on Demand and ESPN Interactive. Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.