Disney, BT sign VOD pact in U.K.

ABC series to be offered to pay TV subscribers

LONDON — Walt Disney and BT Vision have teamed up to launch an ABC TV on-demand service in Blighty, marking the first international launch of an ABC-branded entertainment service.

The VOD service, which bows Sept. 15, will offer a range of U.S. series produced by the Disney’s TV production arm ABC Studios giving auds full seasons of shows such as “Cougar Town,” “Private Practice,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Criminal Minds” and “Brothers and Sisters.”

Episodes will be made available for on-demand after their first Blighty linear TV broadcast window.

ABC TV On-Demand will also offer past seasons of “Lost,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Ugly Betty,” and will build on previous series VOD agreements between the Mouse House and BT Vision, adding a slew of new shows for the service launch.

The service will be on offer as part of BT Vision’s TV Pack for £6.99 ($10.86) per month. Individual episodes are priced at $1.54 and new programs will be added to the mix each month.

Disney senior VP/g.m. of media distribution Catherine Powell said the branded service was a “logical step in our distribution strategy.”

The deal follows BT Vision’s branded channel deal with Sony Entertainment Television in March, which saw the multi-platform paybox offer Brit auds U.S. dramas such as “Damages” and “The Shield.”

Mouse House is currently in discussion with a number of other European payboxes to ink similar deals across the region.

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