Disney and Cablevision have signed a new multi-year carriage deal with no visible drama at all (hear that, Dish Network, DirecTV, Viacom and AMC?). The pact includes several new authenticated on-demand products from Cablevision, branded Watch (as opposed to TV Everywhere, the slogan for authenticated digital services being pushed by Time Warner).
The deal includes ESPN 3D, the as-yet-untitled ABC News/Univision news channel joint venture and the rest of the approximately 70 linear services run by the Walt Disney Co.—Disney XD, ABC Family, ESPN, the Disney Channel, and so on.
One of the more interesting wrinkles in this agreement is a deal for ABC On Demand, a "fast-forward-disabled" on-demand service, which lets viewers watch whatever show they're interested in … without the ability to skip commercials. Given the pugnacity with which Dish has pushed its Auto Hop service (which doesn't just let you fast-forward live TV, but lets you cut out the commercials altogether), it makes sense for Disney to position itself alongside cable operators who are looking to compete with streaming services and are willing to keep the vital second revenue stream—advertising—intact.
“This significant agreement ensures that our customers will continue to have access to dozens of ABC, Disney and ESPN networks for years to come and, for the first time, they will be able to enjoy Disney and ESPN programming outside the home,” said Cablevision CEO James L. Dolan in a statement.