Google is ready for some “Monday Night Football.”
Walt Disney Co. has struck a distribution deal with Google Fiber to add its cable networks, including ESPN, ABC Family and Disney Channel, to the new broadband pay-TV service the search-engine giant is launching in the Midwest.
For Google, getting the Disney properties will be key to competing against Time Warner Cable and satellite broadcasters DirecTV and Dish. Google Fiber is being unveiled in Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan. In both cities, Time Warner Cable is the major multichannel video program distributor.
Besides the ESPN franchise and Disney Channel, other networks Google will be carrying include ABC News Now and Disney XD, a kids channel aimed at boys.
Google Fiber last week signed an agreement to carry the NFL Network. Other channels it is carrying include Showtime, Comedy Central, Discovery, USA and CNBC. The service also carries local TV stations that have content from CBS, NBC and ABC.
Still missing are several big Time Warner properties including HBO, CNN and TNT and News Corp.'s FX and Fox News.
To get the service there is a $300 fee for Google to wire a subscriber’s house with fiber. The monthly fee for TV and Internet is $120.
The cable and satellite industry are watching Google Fiber closely to see if it will become yet another competitor. For programmers, though, the addition of Google means another buyer for their content.
Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.