Comcast and Disney Agree on New Carriage Deal; ACC Network Now Available for All Xfinity Customers
While the pair’s situation regarding Hulu is still up in the air, Comcast and Disney have come to terms on at least one agreement.
Today, Comcast and The Walt Disney Company announced they’ve renewed their content carriage agreement that, “will continue to make Disney’s robust lineup of sports, news, kids, family, and general entertainment programming available to Xfinity TV customers,” Disney said in a press release. The new deal will allow Comcast to distribute the ACC Network to all its Xfinity customers, which will allow sports fans to watch the ACC’s collegiate athletic offerings, including football, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, baseball, softball, and more.
The multi-year agreement encompasses continued distribution of Disney’s cable channels, including the ESPN networks, the Disney branded channels, Freeform, the FX networks, and the National Geographic channels. The renewal also includes continued distribution of the SEC Network, now in its eighth season, as well as retransmission consent for the ABC Owned Television Stations in New York (WABC), Chicago (WLS), Philadelphia (WPVI), San Francisco (KGO), Houston (KTRK), Raleigh-Durham (WTVD) and Fresno (KFSN). Earlier this year, Comcast launched Disney+ and ESPN+ to Xfinity customers, and those services will continue to be available.
“We are very pleased to have reached this comprehensive agreement with Disney to continue providing Xfinity customers access to their content across our industry-leading platforms,” said Rebecca Heap, senior vice president of consumer products & propositions, at Comcast.
While this bodes well for the future, it still doesn’t answer what will happen with Hulu moving forward. It seemed that Comcast and/or Disney would want to exit the joint venture prior to 2024, the year their deal will expire, but no sign of that could be found today or during past media calls. Many thought that Disney and Comcast would try to combine this deal with Hulu negotiations - but it looks like it wasn’t While Comcast owns a third of Hulu, Disney owns the remaining controlling shares of the streamer and runs the operation. Comcast is set to turn the reins over to Disney in 2024. For now, though, both companies are in good spirits.
“We’re very happy to extend our longstanding relationship with Comcast and continue to provide their Xfinity customers with Disney’s best-in-class programming,” said Sean Breen, executive vice president of platform distribution at Disney media & entertainment distribution. “In addition to our news, sports, and general entertainment offerings, the launch of the ACC Network in the coming weeks, paired with the renewal of the SEC Network, will give Xfinity’s college sports fans long-awaited access to their favorite games.”