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Verizon Takes Live ABC, Disney Internet TV Services

Telco's FiOS TV service also will add Fusion news and lifestyle net for Hispanic auds to launch later this year

Verizon Communications is picking up more Internet video from the Mouse House, under an expanded pact that includes the recently launched Watch ABC service for live local TV in select markets.

The telco and the Disney and ESPN Media Networks Group announced deal to provide Verizon’s FiOS TV customers with media conglom’s full suite of “TV Everywhere” authenticated services: Watch ABC, Watch Disney Channel, Watch Disney XD and Watch Disney Junior, as well as the yet-to-be-launched Watch ABC Family service.

Also under the pact Verizon will add Fusion, a multiplatform English-language news and lifestyle cable net aimed at Hispanics. Fusion, a joint venture between ABC and Univision, is skedded to launch later this year.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Verizon already offers Watch ESPN, the TV Everywhere service for the sports cabler.

The pay-TV biz’s authenticated services are designed to keep customers in the fold, by extending access to programming across a range of devices. But so far TV Everywhere, as it’s referred to, has suffered from low awareness, limited marketing and gaps in the lineup.

SEE ALSO: ABC Moves Live TV App Behind Pay-TV Wall

Watch ABC is currently available in New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Raleigh-Durham, N.C. The Alphabet Net also plans launches for Houston and Fresno, Calif., this fall. The service offers the first authorized live local TV streaming online — and is in part a bid by ABC to counter services like Aereo, which is being sued by broadcasters for copyright infringement because the startup is not paying to retransmit their signals.

The live TV is available only to subscribers of participating pay TV partners. In addition, Watch ABC apps and website provide on-demand full episodes also available in ABC’s free player apps and website.

With the ABC and Disney programming, as well as forthcoming TV Everywhere services for Fusion and ABC Family, Verizon will offer FiOS customers up to 53 channels available over any broadband connection. The services are available through the telco’s own FiOS TV Online website as well as through the respective ABC and Disney apps and websites.

As of June 30, Verizon had 5.0 million FiOS TV subscribers, making it the fifth-largest pay TV distributor in the U.S.

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