Comcast on verge of Disney TV deal, report says

Cable giant Comcast, which for more than two years has been seeking prime-time TV programs to offer on its video-on-demand service, is poised to ink a deal with Disney for shows including Lost and Desperate Housewives, according to an article posted Monday night in The Wall Street Journal (subscription required).

The show swap is part of a larger transaction that could be finalized as early as Tuesday, the WSJ reports.

Under the deal, the newspaper says, ABC will make Lost and Desperate Housewives available on-demand for free, along with two other new prime-time shows to be determined by the companies later. Programming from such Disney cable networks as ESPN, the Disney Channel and Toon Disney will be available to on-demand customers for the first time.

In another first, Disney movies will be made available for a fee on Comcast's on-demand service, according to the report.

In 2004, Comcast made an unsuccessful $66 billion bid to take over Disney. With that bid, Comcast hoped to add brand name content such as ABC News to power its next generation of services, including video-on-demand, high-definition TV and streaming media.

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Leslie Katz, Crave's senior editor, heads up a team that covers the most crushworthy (and wackiest) tech, science, and culture around. As a co-host of the now-retired CNET News Daily Podcast, she was sometimes known to channel Terry Gross and still uses her trained "podcast voice" to bully the speech recognition software on automated customer service lines. E-mail Leslie.


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