Under a new deal, DirecTV can give subscribers online access to Disney and ESPN programming. Earlier this week, Disney announced that it had signed a multi-year deal with DirecTV, renewing its right to broadcast the Disney Channel, ABC Family, ESPN, and several other channels, including eight local ABC stations. The deal also adds content to DirecTV Everywhere, the satellite company's online video catalog. All of Disney's "Watch" streaming options — including WatchESPN, Watch Disney Channel, Watch ABC Family, and Watch ABC — will be available to DirecTV subscribers in early 2015 via the company's mobile apps and website.
DirecTV rolled out access to streaming video on demand over the course of 2012, alongside a growing industry-wide reliance on cable TV apps. Disney has also offered its online services through other pay TV companies, both cable and satellite. In early 2014, it signed a deal with DirecTV competitor Dish, selling access to its online services on the condition that Dish would partially disable its DVR's commercial-skipping technology on ABC shows. A potential deal with DirecTV was reported soon after.
According to Disney and ESPN executive vice president David Preschlack, this marks the end of extended renewal negotiations between the media company and its top 10 TV partners. Renewals haven't gone so well in other parts of the media world; Fox News recently went dark for Dish subscribers as contract discussions failed. DirecTV, meanwhile, is in another kind of negotiations: regulators are currently looking over a proposed $48.5 billion buyout by AT&T.