Walt Disney Co. plans as early as next week to launch a mobile application to let Comcast Corp cable TV subscribers watch the Disney Channel on the go, Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger told investors on Wednesday.

Comcast customers will be the first to make use of the app, which would be similar to Disney's WatchESPN service, which allows cable subscribers receive ESPN programs on mobile devices, Iger told a conference sponsored by securities firm Sanford C. Bernstein.

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The service would be limited at the outset to subscribers of Comcast, who would be “authenticated” to use the mobile service through their TV subscriptions.

The cable industry calls mobile services “TV Everywhere,” and uses the concept to keep subscribers from dropping their service to get TV programming online or through other outlets. Disney is launching first on Comcast, Iger said, because the cable giant secured expanded TV rights as part of an agreement in January to renew a 10-year contract for Comcast to carry the Disney Channel, ESPN and other channels provided by the media company.

WatchESPN was first offered by Time Warner Cable Inc, Iger said. In early May, Comcast began offering the sports service for mobile and online use to most of its 22 million TV subscribers, which doubled to about 40 million the numbers of people with the capability to receive it.

Iger said Disney also intended to offer apps for some of its other TV properties, including its ABC network and ABC Family cable channel, but did not say when those would be available.


Publish date: May 31, 2012 10:06 am| Modified date: December 18, 2013 10:24 pm

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