Disney-ABC TV, Verizon Ink VOD Pact

Expanding its VOD offerings, Disney-ABC Television Group has inked a deal with Verizon to make of ABC prime-time programs available to FiOS TV customers on demand, the companies announced Tuesday (Oct. 28). Shows such as Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Lost, Samantha Who? and Ugly Betty will be available for on-demand viewing one day after their broadcast premiere at no charge and in high definition.

As with ABC’s other VOD offerings, Verizon will disable the fast-forward option for ABC content, based on an ABC trial last fall in California. The research, conducted by Knowledge Networks/Statistical Research found that 93 percent of users of fast-forwarding disabled VOD offerings found advertising a fair trade in exchange for the free access to the programs. In addition, the research found that usage and frequency of the VOD platform increased.

“This is yet another example of our dedication to exploring innovative models that enable us to both make our most popular content available to viewers on a variety of platforms and add value to our distribution and advertising partners,” said David Preschlack, executive vp of Disney and ESPN Networks affiliate sales and marketing.

ABC’s content joins FiOS TV’s VOD library, which offers its customers more than 11,000 title per month, 70 percent of which are free.