FAIRBANKS — Alaska’s largest cable television operator has reached a seven-year agreement to air Disney networks programming, which includes ESPN and ABC Family Channel networks.
GCI will continue to provide Disney’s package of sports, news and entertainment channels through 2021. The previous deal between GCI and Disney had expired in July, but GCI was allowed to keep offering the channels because negotiations were progressing.
As part of the agreement, GCI also has rights to offer Disney and ESPN streaming apps and additional video-on-demand products.
The deal was negotiated by the National Cable Television Cooperative, which represents about 700 cable television companies, including GCI.
Disney’s offerings include some of the most expensive programming for cable providers, particularly ESPN channels. GCI spokesman David Morris said reaching a seven-year deal should provide stability to GCI’s lineup.
GCI and other channels nearly lost 26 Viacom offerings in April before reaching a last-minute agreement on the day its contract was set to expire.
“It’s nice to have something longer, because they’re pretty disruptive when they come up for negotiations,” Morris said.
GCI is the largest cable television company in Alaska, with about 130,000 customers statewide and roughly 15,000 in the Fairbanks area.
Contact staff writer Jeff Richardson at 459-7518. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMbusiness.