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“Synergy” has become a dirty word at times, especially since Sumner Redstone got it in his head that breaking up CBS and Viacom was a brilliant idea.

Still, as Variety‘s Cynthia Littleton reports, the sweeping carriage deal between Disney and Time Warner Cable reveals how premium assets can benefit lesser ones.

The big news, of course, is that ABC has joined in receiving retransmission payments for its stations, which the report puts at around 40-50 cents per subscriber a month.

Yet the tentacles of the deal include all kinds of smaller Disney properties. As Littleton notes:

Among
other key components, TWC has agreed to add new channels from Disney to
its linear lineup, including Disney Junior, the preschool channel that
will take over the existing SoapNet outlet in 2012; the fledgling ESPN 3D
(which is not yet a 24/7 outlet); and ESPN Deportes HD.

I know that I, for one, was clamoring for ESPN 3D and Disney Junior.

The losers, meanwhile, are smaller companies that lack such collective clout to negotiate for their channels. It’s no accident that Hallmark Channel is wrestling with AT&T U-Verse, although from what I can tell, nobody but Hallmark and AT&T seems to give a damn.

On the plus side, cooler heads prevailed, and Disney and Time Warner were able to reach a deal after the deadline had passed in a reasonably civil manner. That said, I’ll miss those warring ads and websites trashing each other, which represented was some of the most entertaining stuff to come out of either company in years.