Disney secures increased exposure for ESPN with expanded Vivicast deal
Entertainment giant Walt Disney has assured more exposure for ESPN, its sports television network, after agreeing an expanded distribution deal with Vivicast Media, the USA-based cable licensor.
Under the new ‘multi-year’ deal, ESPN’s sports programming is to be distributed to Vivicast’s roster of video operators that deliver content to TVs, computers, smartphones, tablets, and streaming devices across the US.
The expanded agreement adds in-season video-on-demand content and other on-demand functionalities to Vivicast’s existing distribution role.
Subscribers to Vivicast affiliates will continue to have access to Disney and ESPN Media Networks, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPNU, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3, SEC Network, Longhorn Network, ESPN Goal Line, and ESPN Bases Loaded, in addition to authenticated live and on-demand content through ESPN’s streaming platform.
Sean Breen, senior vice-president, affiliate sales and marketing, Disney and ESPN Media Networks, commented: “Our company has had a fantastic relationship with Vivicast for nearly a decade. This new agreement will allow members’ subscribers to continue to watch their favourite programs and must-see live sporting events however and whenever they choose to watch, in addition to introducing new services to enhance their viewing experience.”
Last month, Disney ramped up its plans to offer over-the-top services to consumers by acquiring a majority stake in BAMTech, the live streaming technology company.
Having acquired a 33-per-cent shareholding in BAMTech last year for $1 billion, Disney is now to pay $1.58 billion to secure an additional 42-per-cent stake in the company born out of Major League Baseball Advanced Media.
Disney will now forge ahead with plans to launch ‘Netflix style’ direct-to-consumer OTT services from ESPN (and Disney itself).