Disney, Apple agree on tablet content
Disney has cut a deal with Apple to make full-length episodes of ABC shows available for streaming on the iPad.Deal announced Thursday includes a wealth of content and iPad applications for ABC, ESPN and Disney-related content. The big news is the extension of full-length web streaming of most ABC skeins, including web magnets “Lost” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” to Apple’s tablet device, which hits stores on Saturday. “The iPad provides a very compelling consumer experience, and we are pleased to have new forms of original, interactive content on this great device,” said Bob Iger, prexy and CEO of Disney. The ESPN applications include “ESPN Pinball,” described as a package of “minigames, unique basketball sound effects and play by play voiceover by ‘SportsCenter’ host Jay Harris”; and “ESPN ScoreCenter XL,” which offers users live play-by-play, video highlights, game summaries and statistics, box scores and standings. It also allows users to customize the feeds to follow favorite teams and events. Deal naturally includes a host of kid-friendly apps, including a “Toy Story” read-along feature incorporating video and games from the movies, and applications tied to the Mouse’s popular Fairies franchise and Disney Channel animated hit “Phineas and Ferb.” Disney is also serving up Marvel Comics-related content to iPad, including a comicbook reader, recommendations and store locator service. The Disney pact marks the most expansive TV content partnership for the iPad to date — and it comes as no surprise given the longstanding relationship between the Mouse and Apple and the fact that Apple boss Steve Jobs is Disney’s single-largest shareholder following the Mouse’s 2006 acquisition of Pixar. CBS will make full episodes of “Survivor” available for iPad, among other content.