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Comcast tunes into Disney for broadband

High-speed Net subscribers will get access to children's entertainment from Disney and streaming media from ABC News.

Comcast struck a deal to offer children's entertainment from Walt Disney and streaming media from ABC News to its broadband subscribers, the companies said Wednesday.

Under the deal, the Philadelphia-based cable television and high-speed Internet service provider will begin offering streaming media and on-demand video from Disney's ABC News. Comcast also announced plans to launch an online channel for children later this year with programming from Disney Connection, the entertainment company's broadband destination for children ages 3 to 11, as part of the effort.

The content-sharing agreement underscores the reason behind Comcast's unsuccessful $66 billion bid to buy out Disney earlier this year. With that bid, which was launched in February and officially withdrawn in April, Comcast hoped to add brand name content such as ABC News to power its next generation of services, including video on demand, high-definition TV and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.

The proposed merger was ultimately scuttled when Disney's executives refused to negotiate with Comcast and when Comcast became concerned that the bid indicated to shareholders that it had lost confidence in its existing cable business.

Comcast said it will immediately begin offering on-demand programming from ABC News broadcasts on Comcast's own Internet news channel, including content from "World News Tonight," "Good Morning America," "20/20" and "Primetime Live." Comcast is also offering ABC News Live, a streaming-video application that delivers breaking news in real time, to its broadband customers.

Based on the agreement, the Comcast Kids Channel will offer Disney Connection's online games, activities and videos, in addition to content derived from Disney Blast, a portal site for children, and Toontown Online, the entertainment company's site for preschoolers. Comcast said the deal will include access to a new premium version of Toontown scheduled to arrive next year.

"Delivering content from well-known and well-trusted brands over a true broadband network is key to providing our customers the best possible broadband Internet experience," Greg Butz, senior vice president at Comcast, said in a statement.