Tv provider Comcast announced Thursday that it is entering the digital entertainment industry with deals that include digital subscription services, the first major deal between a cable operator and an online platform since Netflix launched a rival service earlier this year.
Comcast’s digital TV offerings are being built on its own programming platform and will include the popular ESPN channel and a digital-only version of the Disney channel, which Comcast bought in 2012.
The digital subscription platform will include channels like AMC and AMC.com, which also have strong digital audiences and strong TV programming.
Comcast has a growing TV business in the U.S., with digital-on-demand services like Sling TV and Hulu Plus, which are popular with younger audiences.
The new deals with the Disney Channel and AMC include a new agreement that provides Disney with exclusive streaming rights to its television programming for three years and additional exclusivity through 2019 for ESPN, which has a long history of making shows for its networks.
Disney’s new deal also will allow the company to stream the Disney-owned Disney XD on its TV platforms, including Comcast’s TV.com platform, which is owned by Disney.
The Disney deal was announced in a press release and was announced alongside other major deals Comcast and Time Warner Cable announced Thursday.
The deal with AMC, which had been expected to announce a new deal this week, will be announced in coming days.
Comms announcement on its YouTube channel and on its social media sites also announced deals to provide digital access to ESPN and other platforms.
Comcom’s new digital offerings will also offer a variety of entertainment options for its customers.com content will be available on a variety to different platforms.com will offer its video and audio content on YouTube, and the service will also be offering live streaming of live events and programming across the web.com also plans to offer its content on its mobile app.com customers will also have access to more than 150 channels on the web and YouTube and YouTube Red, which offer video content that can be viewed and shared on the internet.com’s digital service will offer video programming on its video platforms including Hulu Plus.com and YouTube TV.
Com has been working with content companies including HBO, Showtime, AMC, NBCUniversal, Universal Pictures and Sony Pictures on digital platforms, said Comcast CEO Brian Roberts.com has partnered with companies like Netflix to provide customers with high-quality content and the ability to watch live sporting events, Roberts said.