ESPN's parent company, The Walt Disney Company, and Comcast, the nation's largest cable provider, announced a 10-year deal establishing distro rights for Disney properties along with an industry breakthrough agreement allowing Comcast to offer Disney programming to its customer through Xfinity My TV. This will allow Comcast customers the ability to watch programming on mobile devices, pads, etc. This certainly is a no brainer given the company's loss of traditional cable subscribers the last several quarters replaced by the more value-oriented broadband customer.
However, the BIG NEWS as it pertains to Longhorn Fans is Disney was unable to successfully obtain basic-tier rights distribution for their newly launched Longhorn Network, which has been a no-budge position for ESPN from the get go.
An executive with ESPN, Katina Arnold, confirmed the slight in email exchange with an Orangebloods forum poster ($):
We weren't able to include it in this agreement but continue to have productive conversations with Comcast and other distributors.
Right. Blah, blah, blah.
This announcement does not portend well for those wanting access through major cable providers in the Texas region who have been holding off ESPN until a market-maker provider contract was finalized.
So for now I say this is a marketing boon for Verizon Fios, Grande Communications, and the other cable operators who threw caution to the wind and dove head first in bed with the Longhorn Network.
For the rest of us it's ho-hum.