Press Release

Posted by Kristie Chong-Adler on July 18, 2013

The Walt Disney Company and The National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative Announce Comprehensive Long-Term Distribution Agreement

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NRTC to add Full Suite of Authenticated WATCH Services, Longhorn Network and Upcoming SEC Network and Fusion

HERNDON, VA and BRISTOL, CT –– JULY 18, 2013 –– The National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) and The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) today announced a comprehensive long-term distribution agreement to deliver Disney’s robust lineup of top quality sports, news and entertainment content to NRTC members’ customers across TVs, computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and internet-enabled televisions. The telecommunications cooperative serves telephone and electric organizations in 48 states.

“We’re excited to continue our rapid expansion of NRTC’s TV Everywhere offering, MyTimeTV℠, with programming from Disney and ESPN’s broad portfolio,” said NRTC Vice President of Video Services, Madeleine Forrer. “Our members take pride in offering their customers the best video entertainment available, and the Disney/ESPN portfolio is exceptional.”

Added David Preschlack, Executive Vice President, Affiliate Sales and Marketing, Disney & ESPN Networks Group: “This latest long-term renewal agreement allows us to serve NRTC members’ customers in rural markets with enhanced value to their multichannel video subscription, providing quality content and services on more platforms than ever before.  We continue to cultivate relationships across a variety of distribution partners that recognize the value of these services that customers have come to expect in today’s digital world.”

As part of the new multi-year deal, NRTC will introduce several new services, including the full suite of authenticated WATCH products, Longhorn Network and the upcoming SEC Network and Fusion, an ABC News and Univision joint venture and 24/7 news, information and lifestyle multi-platform network for English-dominant and bilingual Hispanics – the youngest and fastest-growing demographic in the US.  Services covered by the broad scope of this agreement include: ABC Family, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Deportes, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN GamePlan, ESPN Full Court and ESPN3.

NRTC members’ customers will receive broad access to existing authenticated products like WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH Disney XD, WATCH Disney Junior and WatchESPN (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPN Goal Line and ESPN Buzzer Beater) as well as the to-be-launched WATCH ABC authenticated on-demand content and WATCH ABC Family services, through the networks’ own WATCH sites and apps. These products will give NRTC customers more opportunities to access live and video on demand content, both in-home and out-of-home, on their computers, smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles.

About the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC)

The National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) represents the advanced telecommunications and information technology interests of 1,500 rural utilities and affiliates in 48 states. We help rural electric and telephone utilities strengthen their businesses with solutions uniquely suited to the needs of rural consumers.

NRTC was founded in 1986 by electric cooperatives, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC).

NRTC provides products and services developed specifically to meet the needs of rural utilities and their customers, such as high-speed Internet access via satellite, full service Internet access and support, integrated smart grid technologies and energy efficiency solutions, wireless technologies, long distance programs, mobile phone service, IP backbone services, and programming distribution rights for video providers.

NRTC is driven by our members’ commitment to provide their communities with innovative telecommunications solutions and a vision for continued viability. NRTC helps ensure our members’ success by aggregating their individual buying power, negotiating national contracts, and supporting business solutions which expand their service offerings. NRTC remains focused on bringing advanced telecommunications solutions to rural America.

About The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is the world’s largest diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. Disney Media Networks comprise a vast array of The Walt Disney Company’s broadcast, cable, radio and publishing businesses, including Disney/ABC Television Group and ESPN, Inc.  Disney is a Dow 30 company and had annual revenues of $42.3 billion in its most recent fiscal year.

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