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Cable Technology Feature Article

October 05, 2012

Disney & Cablevision Reach Agreement, New Services Afoot

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

Exciting news for those still getting their entertainment from cable providers, Disney (News - Alert) and Cablevision announced a deal that will not only last several years, but will also provide some new services for viewers in the near future as well.

The deal between the Walt Disney Co. and Cablevision Systems Corp. not only brought Cablevision subscribers access to an ESPN (News - Alert) feed specifically geared for mobile devices, but it also gave Disney a distributor interested in its 24 / 7 news channel for the Hispanic market.

While no one was talking specifics about the amount of money that changed hands, the fact that there was a deal at all is something of a change. Many Cablevision viewers likely remember an event that happened two years ago, when a dispute between Disney and Cablevision cost Cablevision subscribers 15 minutes of the Oscars thanks to Cablevision refusing Disney's demand for cash payments for ABC signals, where previously, they were free. 

Image via Shutterstock

Putting that dispute to rest gave the two the chance to talk about how to provide more value for the viewer, and from the sounds of things, it's looking like quite a value prospect indeed. The new contract with Cablevision offers fully 70 channels or services, and the markets reacted happily to the news, giving Cablevision shares an extra 1.6 percent in value during yesterday's trading, and Disney shares got an extra three cents added on.

With increasing prices and channel blackouts becoming an increasing part of the cable landscape--Dish Network viewers are likely still fuming over the AMC issue, and it wasn't so long ago DirecTV (News - Alert) lost a huge block of channels temporarily with the Viacom dispute--it's getting increasingly difficult for cable viewers to find a reliable feed. The growth of online services that charge significantly less than cable yet offer a substantial lineup of programming can't be lost on the cable providers, and they must know that they're facing some stringent competition from services like Netflix.

However, these contract disputes are often being resolved, and in many cases with improved services like mobile access, so maybe we're just getting a look at growing pains ahead of a newer era in cable television, one that's more focused on providing value for the customer rather than for the networks. It would be welcome, no doubt, but since we're still at the outset of such an era, it will bear watching to see if it can go the distance.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Austin 2012, happening now in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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