DISNEY-ABC TELEVISION GROUP'S ABC ENTERTAINMENT AND WARNER BROS. TELEVISION GROUP REACH GROUNDBREAKING AGREEMENT REGARDING DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION OF "BIG SHOTS," "MEN IN TREES," "NOTES FROM THE UNDERBELLY" AND "PUSHING DAISIES"
ABC is Given Streaming Rights for Distribution on ABC.com in First Year, With Rights Going to Warner Bros. for Past Episodes in Year Two
Additional Series Available on ABC.com Include "The Bachelor," "Brothers & Sisters," "Carpoolers," "Cavemen," "Dancing with the Stars," "Desperate Housewives," "Dirty Sexy Money," "Eli Stone," "Grey's Anatomy," "Lost," "October Road," "Private Practice," "Samantha Who?" and "Ugly Betty"
Disney-ABC Television Group's ABC Entertainment and the Warner Bros. Television Group announced today that they have reached an agreement regarding the digital distribution of "Big Shots," "MEN IN TREES," "Notes from the Underbelly" and "Pushing Daisies."
Under the terms of the experimental deal � which was brokered by Jana Winograde, executive vice president, Business Affairs, ABC Entertainment and by Craig Hunegs, executive vice president, Business Management, Warner Bros. Television Group -- ABC has the ability to distribute all four series as non-permanent offerings, which includes streaming episodes online and retaining the advertising revenue generated on ABC.com's Emmy Award-winning broadband player, as well as utilizing the pilots on alternative platforms to launch the shows. The episodes will be available at ABC.com the day after their broadcast premieres. The unique two-year deal allows ABC.com to stream each episode up to four weeks after its broadcast, and in return, Warner Bros. will have the same rights the following year with respect to past episodes previously streamed on ABC.com, and in addition will be able to offer digital downloads of the prior year's episodes, as well as DVD boxed sets. While Warner Bros. will be able to stream the episodes to unlimited outlets, the episodes will be branded ABC and promote back to the network.
"This announcement reiterates our commitment to keep our viewers and their needs front-and-center as we continue to lead in the digital arena," said Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney-ABC Television Group. "This unique agreement, expertly brokered by Jana Winograde and her team with our partners at Warner Bros. will allow us to continue to offer viewers access to their favorite programs via the best video player available."
"As has often happened with our partners at ABC, we have reached an innovative agreement that allows us each increased flexibility to run our businesses while giving viewers ongoing on-demand access to our series," said Bruce Rosenblum, president, Warner Bros. Television Group. "First with DVD, then with digital downloads and now via streaming, our studio continues to find new ways to open new windows to serve our audience and grow our business."
In addition, new episodes of returning series "The Bachelor," "Brothers & Sisters," "Dancing with the Stars," "Desperate Housewives," "Grey's Anatomy," "Lost," "October Road" and "Ugly Betty," as well as episodes of the new series "Carpoolers," "Cavemen," "Dirty Sexy Money," "Eli Stone" "Private Practice" and "Samantha Who?" will be offered free to consumers on ABC's website the day after their broadcast premieres. Generally, four episodes per series will be available at any given time.
ABC.COM PREMIERE DATES:
Tuesday, September 25
"Dancing with the Stars"
Thursday, September 27
"Dirty Sexy Money"
Friday, September 28
Monday, October 1
"Brothers & Sisters"
Wednesday, October 3
Thursday, October 4
Saturday, October 13
"MEN IN TREES"
Tuesday, October 16
ABC.com recently began presenting content in HD. The full-episode broadband player's HD channel will feature content in true high-definition 1280 X 720 resolution from such series as "Lost," "Desperate Housewives," "Grey's Anatomy" and "Ugly Betty."
This fall ABC.com's full episode player will be expanded further to include national news and local content, in addition to primetime entertainment programming. This new player will be geo-targeted, offering the ability for local ads and content to be more relevant to each individual user.
The full-episode player also offers full-screen viewing as well as a small "mini" screen that users can position wherever they choose on their desktops, in addition to the two original standard viewing size viewing options. To date, ABC affiliates covering 80% of the country -- including all major affiliate groups and the ten ABC owned stations -- have launched or have committed to launching the player on their own websites and are taking advantage of the opportunity to incorporate local advertising into the programming.
This announcement is part of the Disney-ABC Television Group's overall Digital Media multiplatform business initiative and demonstrates the Group's ongoing commitment to launching new digital products and working with strategic partners in the digital media space to make its high-quality, informative and entertaining content available to consumers whenever and wherever they choose.
Disney-ABC Television Group is home to all of The Walt Disney Company's worldwide entertainment and news television properties. The Group includes the ABC Television Network, Disney Channel's worldwide portfolio of kids' channels, ABC Family and SOAPnet; as well as television production and syndication divisions ABC Studios, Disney-ABC Domestic Television and Disney-ABC International Television. Disney-ABC Television Group also manages the Radio Disney Network in addition to the Company's equity interest in Lifetime Entertainment Services and A&E Television Networks.
The Warner Bros. Television Group (WBTVG) oversees the entire portfolio of Warner Bros. Entertainment's television businesses, including worldwide production, traditional and digital distribution and broadcasting. In the traditional television arena, WBTVG produces primetime, first-run, cable and animation series which are distributed worldwide by three category-leading distribution arms/operations. Warner Bros. is also a partner with CBS in The CW Television Network. The Warner Bros. Television Group is an innovative leader in developing new business models for the evolving television landscape, including ad-supported video-on-demand, broadband and wireless. WBTVG has digital distribution agreements in place with the broadcast networks (representing an industry first for a major studio with unaffiliated networks). The group recently formed Studio 2.0, a digital production venture producing original shortform programming for broadband and wireless and a digital media sales unit devoted specifically to multiplatform domestic advertiser sales for both broadband and wireless.