Verizon Snares Disney Programming

Verizon Communications will make Disney Channel programming part of its new video service via a long-term agreement with the Magic Kingdom. Dubbed Fios, Verizon’s high-speed, fiber-optic content delivery system is being tested in Keller, Texas, and is slated for availability in 3 million homes this year.

Fios is Verison’s stab at competing with cable television providers, which are encroaching on its turf by offering telephone and high-speed Internet services in addition to TV signals.

In addition to Disney Channel, Version will carry 12 other Disney outlets, including ESPN and ABC News. The company is also in negotiations to acquire content from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., which owns FOX, FX and Fox News.

Verizon’s efforts to break into video delivery may be impeded by a requirement to obtain licenses for specific service areas. The company is reportedly pushing for legislation aimed at simplifying the process with statewide or national licenses.