Disney Comcast Pact Is a Mickey Mouse Deal for Subscribers

Disney ComcastM-I-C...

See your cable bill grow.

K-E-Y...

Why? Because Comcast (CMCSA) just signed a pricey new content-licensing deal with Disney (DIS).

The family entertainment giant and the country's largest cable provider are teaming up for a juicy long-term programming deal. It will give Comcast subscribers access to a ton of Disney-owned content delivered across more than just their TVs.

Sweet! Unfortunately, there will also be a price to pay.

"License fee schedules for different services under the deal will be phased in over time," reads the press release detailing the 10-year deal. In other words, the terms of the deal will get more expensive during the life of the deal.

Oh, and guess who Comcast will be passing on those higher costs to?

It's Comcastic!

The deal itself is massive, covering 70 different services. We're talking about an extended slate of ESPN channels as well as ABC, ABC Family, and several Disney Channel networks. Comcast will even be the springboard for Disney Junior, a new basic channel for preschool kids that will launch later this year.

It's a lot of channels that you will probably never watch, and that's before we get to Xfinity TV.

Comcast subscribers will be able to see live and on-demand content from many Disney-owned channels on their PCs, tablets, smartphones, and whatever new Web-tethered gadgetry rolls out in the coming years.

You're going to love the broader content and wide range of ways to access Disney's content. You're going to hate how much it costs.

Being a Couch Potato Isn't Cheap

There is no breakdown on how much more this will cost subscribers, but it's inevitable that Comcast subscribers will see their bills continue to inch higher. Comcast doesn't allow customers to cherry-pick the stations they want -- they have to pay for every station that is part of a bundled package of content.

We already know that content isn't cheap. Media tracker SNL Kagan reported late last year that ESPN alone sets distributors back a juicy $4.69 a month per home.

Comcast knows that the price of its service is aggravating consumers. It has been losing video customers over the past few quarters. There's a "cord cutters" revolution going on as folks ditch their cable and satellite television plans in favor of HD antennas and cheaper streaming video services.

Comcast is trying. It has been at the forefront of the TV Everywhere initiative that strives to provide subscribers with all of the content that they're paying for through more than just their televisions. This new Disney deal will help make TV Everywhere a better product, but knowing that subscribers are the ones ultimately paying the price for this far-reaching deal -- when they won't have the ability to cancel out individual channels that they don't particularly care for -- makes it look flat-out Goofy.

Longtime Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does not own shares in any of the stocks in this article, except for Disney. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Disney.


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jchip40

omcast is a big contributor to the dems so they can do whatever they want and ***** Holder is going to do nothing.

January 09 2012 at 9:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jose Dejesus

VERIZON THE CELL PHONE COMPANY IS ALSO TRYING TO RIP PEOPLE OFF...IF YOU GET CALLS THAT YOU DON'T WANT ? YOU HAVE TO PAY A MONTHLY FEE FOR VERIZON TO GET GET RID OF THE CALLS.. IS SOMETHING THAT SHOULD COME WITH YOUR REG SERVICE...I GET CALLS FROM 800----TELEMARKETERS ---IF I WANT TO GET RID OF THEM, I WOULD BE FORCE TO PAY $ 4.50 A MONTH TO GET RID OF THEM. SO I'M GOING TO GET RID OF THEM...WILL BE ONLY USING THE HOME PHONE...GOODBYE CELL PHONE FOR ME.

January 07 2012 at 7:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jose Dejesus

COMCAST ARE ARE RIPPING OFF THEIR CUSTOMERS, WHY I CANCELED ....90 % OF THE CHANNELS YOU GET ? PEOPLE NEVER WATCH...WHY HAVE ALL THOSE CHANNELS ?? GIVE ME THE CHANNELS THAT I WANT AT A LOW RATE.. SENIOR CITIZENS WATCH NEWS CHANNELS AND GAME SHOWS--AND A FEW OTHER SHOWS LIKE GOLD RUSH---PAWN SHOWS.. BUT OTHER THAT THAT ? THAT IS IT.. THAT IS ONLY 8 TO 10 CHANNELS..

January 07 2012 at 7:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob

That’s too bad that a cable company would even think about raising their rates to stream something that you’re paying for in the first place. DISH Network has a TV Everywhere solution that’s been in place for quite some time now that uses Sling Technology, and it doesn’t add anything extra to your monthly bill. With Sling and the DISH Remote Access (DRA) app you can take your TV Everywhere and it works on dozens of smart phones and other devices too. You can watch all your TV channels live, manage your DVR, and even schedule recordings too. Because I work for DISH and use DRA frequently, I can tell you it’s a lifesaver to have around incase I need to schedule a recording at the last minute. It’s something definitely worth checking out. Also as an FYI, DISH costs less then Comcast on a monthly basis too.

January 07 2012 at 10:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Engelun

it don't matter to me. I have frontier net for phone and salelitte for tv and internet.

January 06 2012 at 4:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jmg62

They just RAISED their bills in the New Year!! If the FCC and Justice Departments don't see this as MONOPOLIZING Cable TV - then I don't know what will. COMCAST will fight back saying: "Well there's always Direct TV or Dish TV". All in an earnest manner to cajole their buddies in Washington. Of course COMCAST won't let customers cherry pick - most would do away with the worthless channels that no matter time of day have NOTHING on them. Or other channels they have no use for. As COMCAST can block someone not wanting/paying for HBO - they can block a customer getting ESPN who doesn't want it and LOWER their bills! If THAT's "cherry picking" then I'm ALL for it! The technology is there - but COMCAST won't give up that teet unless FORCED to. COMCAST just won't use their dominance against those companies pressing for "package deals" that are providing "product" because it WOULD show they're too powerful in TV Markets all over and what do they care if they have to take the schlock along with the few programs subscribers want to watch?! What would be their incentive since like lambs to slaughter subscribers meekly pay what COMCAST tells them to. They may not have 100% of the Market - (who'se gonna squabble over .02%?) - but they broke up Standard Oil for the same thing. This is ludicris that it's a one way street - cash flowing to COMCAST! They build the highest tower in Philadelphia just ten years after they stomped on all real competition with CASH! If it was good enough for the Rockefellers - it's good enough for the Robert's family. It's hard to get clear transmissions in a City of any size - let alone configure them with a dish to get channels not scrambled by Dish Companies. It's almost as if they're working in conjuncture with one another setting prices in some dark, smoke filled back room off a Deleware Pier somewhere. Bags of cash passing back and forth and weighted bodies chucked into the current flowing out to sea of those people who'd whistleblow on them. I can see the headlines now: "COMCAST, DISH TV FOUND IN PRICE FIXING STING JUST OUTSIDE PHILLY - INDICTMENTS BEING HANDED DOWN BY JUSTICE"! States Attorney General says: "Billions were made over many years of anti-trust scamming. Heads will roll. We'll get the money back - but none for the subscribers. Looks like they hid it well." Ahuh, just like Wall Street - they'll get a slap on the wrist fine - not enough money will be found to compensate those wronged - and not one of them will do time. Then any Class Action Law Suit will be blocked by agreements (supposed cooperation) with the Feds. and subscribers will be totally out of the loop and shafted - again. COMCAST will go on it's merry way self-regulating until the next outcry of injustice booms into the ears of Congress. The same Congress that allowed self-regulation on Wall Street and even now allows the Commodities Markets to self-regulate themselves with oil prices - among other things.

January 06 2012 at 2:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lady Black Rose

I'm getting rid of cable because Salem, NH only has frekin comcast and I'm am now switching to Hulu + and Netflix...Thanks for nothing Comcast!

January 06 2012 at 2:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Lady Black Rose's comment
Lady Black Rose

mind the typos

January 06 2012 at 2:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tmbianco

I agree Comcast is charging higher and higher for crappy service. I had to place a call to them cause one of my boxes was loosing channels every day. They came out to fix it, and low and behold I got my cable bill the next month and they charged me a 30 dollar service call for coming out. I called them and they said that they are starting to charge for coming out to fix things. I can't believe I'm getting charged for their mistake. I'm in the process of switching to FIOS, and saving about 80 bucks a month for the same services. Good by Comcast !!!!!

January 06 2012 at 1:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to tmbianco's comment
jmg62

You're lucky tmbianco - there are areas of Philadelphia that don't have access to FIOS yet and Comcast is putting us over a barrel. I remember the days when Comcast was just an up and coming business. Unassuming and always ready to help with a smile even if they had to come pick up your converter box if you were cancelling. Now, God forbid you even attempt to go to another service! Every second of every minute of every hour of every day you're charged for having that box in your possession and didn't want to go to the return sites aroung Philly where the "Customer Service" people are behind 3 inches of bulletproof plasticine and surrounded by razor wire. Take along an armed guard and hide as you can the converter box because it's known what you're bringing in and it will be taken from you if you're not alert, aware, fast and can run a quarterback in a box formation for a running back. You may need to call on your armed guard to sacrifice themselves if it's a sprint to the door - but hey, that's what they were hired for. Just make sure your car insurance comprehensive is paid up and if ya think about it before hand go for the lowest deductible. If your car insurance company becomes suspicious, just tell them you're going on a long trip to Gramma's house. Be familiar with your car insurance contract since if there's anything that's in there about "returning Comcast converter box without the minimum of 2 (two) Pinkerton armed guards - or in a Wells Fargo armoured vehicle, etc., will void your policy or reduce your coverage immensely" - you'll need know about it. Good luck with FIOS, we you left behind with Comcast salute you!

January 06 2012 at 3:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
snackchip

comcast has a monopoly here in sevier county.their prices are too high.their services are awful.

January 06 2012 at 12:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ricton738

Comcast is a bunch of THIEVES! Get rid of them! There should be an OCCUPY COMCAST demonstration to shut down their stations. No good thieves!

January 06 2012 at 12:31 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply