Disney-DirecTV sign deal; viewers get more channels, mobile streaming

DirecTV viewers to get access to Fusion, Longhorn Network, several ESPN college sports channels

NEW YORK — Walt Disney Co. has agreed on a new contract with DirecTV, giving the satellite TV service's subscribers more Disney-owned channels and access to programs outside of the home.

New program services included in the multiyear deal announced Tuesday include Fusion, the news channel run by ABC News and Univision; the Longhorn Network, devoted to full-time coverage of University of Texas sports; and several ESPN college sports channels.

DirecTV's 20 million U.S. customers will also be able to stream ABC and Disney's cable networks on tablets, computers and smartphones, starting in early 2015. Mobile device users will be offered Disney, ABC and ESPN programs on demand as well.

Both companies said they would also "explore new offerings" for over-the-top services aimed at the TV consumers who want access to streaming video without a cable or satellite subscription.

The agreement "allows both companies to evolve together into the future and gives DirecTV customers a wide range of in-home and out-of-home viewing options to enjoy the broad collection of ESPN, Disney and ABC content," Dan York, chief content officer at DirecTV, said in a statement.

Disney and DirecTV have been operating under terms of their previous contract that expired Sept. 30. Extensions were made as negotiations continued, according to a Disney spokeswoman, and the two sides avoided service interruptions that have occurred between other video content companies and satellite TV services.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

stephen.battaglio@latimes.com

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