ABC ENTERTAINMENT AND WARNER BROS. TELEVISION GROUP REACH NEW DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION AGREEMENT
Disney-ABC Television Group's ABC Entertainment and the Warner Bros. Television Group (WBTVG) announced today that they have reached a wide-ranging agreement regarding the digital distribution of series produced by Warner Bros. Television for ABC for the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons.
Under the terms of the new agreement, ABC has the ability to distribute any series produced by WBTVG during the current 2011/12 and the 2012/13 seasons online via abc.com and Hulu's ad-supported platforms. The series will also be made available as part of ABC's branded video-on-demand offering available through a variety of cable, satellite and telco providers. Across these platforms, the five most recently televised episodes of each series will be available the day after their network broadcast.
Additionally, the agreement grants ABC the ability to simulcast its linear feed in all media, including as part of the network's authenticated product, which is currently under development.
WBTVG significantly broadens its domestic off-network distribution rights, gaining flexibility to make series available earlier and on more platforms. WBTVG is able to offer select, highly-serialized series via SVOD platforms at the end of each broadcast season. Additionally, WBTVG has moved up the off-network syndication window so that it begins at the end of a series' third broadcast year. WBTVG retains in-season EST and out of season DVD and Blu-Ray rights.
Current ABC series produced by Warner Bros. Television Group include "The Middle," "Work It" and "Suburgatory."
"This new agreement is a great example of our commitment to working with our production partners to find innovative solutions that allow us to offer ABC viewers access to their favorite series," said Jana Winograde, executive vice president, Business Affairs and Administration, ABC Entertainment Group. "Over the years, the Warner Bros. Television Group has been a tremendous partner, as both of our companies look to experiment and find new ways to build and strengthen our businesses."
"Our new agreement with our ABC network partners is a win all around. It makes it easier than ever for viewers to watch their favorite shows, it helps expand the ABC platform and ultimately it makes our series more valuable," said Craig Hunegs, executive vice president, Warner Bros. Television Group.
The Disney/ABC Television Group is composed of The Walt Disney Company's (NYSE: DIS) global entertainment and news television properties, including the ABC Television Network, ABC Studios, Disney Channels Worldwide, ABC Family and SOAPnet, as well as Disney/ABC Domestic Television and Disney Media Distribution. The Radio Disney Network, Hyperion publishing, and the Company's equity interest in A&E Television Networks round out the Group's portfolio of media businesses.
Warner Bros. Television Group strategically manages all of Warner Bros.' current and emerging television businesses, including worldwide and local production, traditional and digital distribution and broadcasting. As the industry's leading supplier of television programming, WBTVG has longstanding relationships with the most respected names in television, including Chuck Lorre, John Wells, Jerry Bruckheimer, J.J. Abrams and others. For the 2011/12 season, WBTVG will produce more than 50 primetime, first-run, cable and animated series, including "Two and a Half Men," "The Big Bang Theory," "The Mentalist," "The Closer," "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and "The Looney Tunes Show," totaling over 2,000 episodes.