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Verizon Corrals Disney Nets for New TV Service

Preparing to launch its widely anticipated wireline video service, Verizon Communications scored a major coup earlier today when it inked a long-term programming pact with The Walt Disney Co. Under the wide-ranging deal, Verizon will carry 12 Disney networks on the telco's new FiOS TV service, including ABC Family, Disney Channel, ESPN and ESPN2. Verizon also gained retransmission consent rights to all of ABC's owned and operated local broadcast stations throughout the U.S. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. With the Disney agreement, Verizon has now landed the programming rights to most of the major cable networks, as well as many of the smaller ones and startups. The deal comes as the Baby Bell gears up for the debut of FiOS TV any day now in the Dallas suburbs. Plans call for Verizon to follow that debut with launches in the Washington, D.C., New York and Tampa suburbs, along with some communities in California.
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