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Verizon Agrees to Pay Disney for ABC Station Signals

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Verizon Agrees to Pay Disney for ABC Station Signals
Verizon outside technician John Thomas, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, works on installing an aerial fiber optic high speed cable in Ambler, Pennsylvania. Photographer: Mike Mergen/Bloomberg

Feb. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Verizon Communications Inc.’s FiOS pay-TV service will start paying Walt Disney Co. for access to local signals from 10 ABC stations owned by the media company.

The agreement is part of a broader deal giving FiOS subscribers online access to Disney’s ESPN cable programs, while also covering Disney cable channels ABC Family, Disney Channel and Disney Junior, the companies said today in a statement. Terms weren’t disclosed.

The ABC agreement advances Disney’s efforts to receive so-called retransmission fees from pay-TV carriers for signals that are available free over the air. Disney has similar deals with Cablevision Systems Corp., the New York-area cable company, and with New York-based Time Warner Cable Inc.

The accord covering the cable channels and ESPN online was announced in October. Starting today, Verizon’s 3.3 million FiOS customers have access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN Buzzer Beater, which provides live clips of college basketball games, through personal computers and mobile devices.

Disney, based in Burbank, California, rose 5 cents to $43.75 at 11:59 a.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares had advanced 17 percent this year before today, the second-highest gain among stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Verizon, based in New York, added 22 cents to $36.39.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ronald Grover in Los Angeles at rgrover5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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