By Sahil Patel
If one thing is certain, it’s that existing pay-TV distributors have finally acknowledged the importance of having an over-the-top distribution strategy. The latest is DirecTV, which has inked a carriage deal with Disney that covers potential over-the-top video services.
Per the deal, the two companies will explore new opportunities “with respect to potential over-the-top offerings.” In other words, if DirecTV plans to launch a web-based pay-TV service, it has an agreement in place with Disney to offer bundles of its channels, which include the incredibly important (and incredibly lucrative) ESPN.
That said, DirecTV hasn’t yet announced any plans to go over-the-top in the way that Dish Network, Verizon, and Sony are planning to. The satellite provider just launched Yaveo, a Spanish-language based OTT service, and says it will launch other niche video services in the future. This is different from the aforementioned competitors, which are launching services that offer access to different bundles of channels in an effort to attract cord-cutting customers.
In the near future, this carriage renewal also gives DirecTV access to Disney’s TV Everywhere services, including WatchESPN, Watch ABC, Watch Disney Channel, Watch Disney XD, Watch Disney Junior, and Watch ABC Family.