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Comcast and Disney sign internet content deal

Walt Disney and cable telecommunications company Comcast have signed an agreement to offer news and children's entertainment programming from Disney through Comcast's high-speed internet service.

Comcast, the largest cable company in the US, will offer the programming to its 21 million cable subscribers and its 5.7 million broadband subscribers.

The companies did not disclose financial terms of the deal, although sources said the agreement is for five years.

Comcast.net's Internet News Channel will use content from Disney's ABC News, including ABC News Live, which provides live breaking news events, hourly news briefs and reports from ABC News correspondents specifically designed for broadband customers.

ABC News already has deals with other DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) providers in the US, including America Online and the SBC Yahoo DSL service from Yahoo and SBC Communications, and reaches about 35 million dial-up and broadband internet users, according to Julie Summersgill, an ABC News spokeswoman.

ABC News will not provide any exclusive content to Comcast, she said, cconfirming that the deal is a "multiyear" agreement.

Later in the year, Comcast plans to launch an online Kids Channel, which will provide Disney Connection, comprising broadband content aimed at children between the ages of 3 and 11. Disney content will include children's games, activities and video shorts for the broadband service.

When Comcast originally attempted to buy Disney in February, it pointed to its desire for content as one of the primary reasons behind the acquisition move. Comcast has been facing stiff competition from companies offering DSL service and sees content as one of the best ways to woo customers to its cable broadband services.

Laura Rohde writes for IDG News Service

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