Walt Disney Co. and Verizon Communications Inc. have reached a deal on the distribution of ESPN and other Disney-owned television channels on the East Coast, according to media reports.
At risk to millions of customers from Boston to Washington, D.C. was the loss of five college football games on New Year’s Day set to air on Disney-owned networks, including the Rose Bowl on ESPN. Also in jeopardy was ABC’s long-running “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” hosted by Ryan Seacrest, financial wire service Bloomberg reported.
The contract between the Burbank media and entertainment giant and the New York telecommunications conglomerate which serves some 4.6 million customers under the Fios system was set to expire on Monday.
“Verizon and the Walt Disney Company have reached a broad-based distribution agreement,” the companies said in a joint statement released Sunday. Details will be released in coming days, the statement added.
Bloomberg reported that Disney was able to win price increases for its programming and the pickup of a new channel, the ACC Network, according to people familiar with the talks who asked not to be identified.