Cox Communications and ESPN Renew Distribution Agreements; Cox Continues Carriage of ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS and ESPN HD; Cox Will Launch ESPN Deportes
Entertainment Editors/Sports Editors/Business Editors
BRISTOL, Conn. & ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 19, 2004--ESPN, Inc. and Cox Communications, Inc. today announced an agreement to renew and extend Cox's carriage of multiple ESPN networks and services. The announcement was made by George Bodenheimer, President, ESPN, Inc., and Jim Robbins, President and CEO, Cox Communications, Inc.
"We're pleased to reach agreement with ESPN," Mr. Robbins said. "We are resolved to protect the value of cable television service for our customers, and with this agreement we believe we made material progress in accomplishing that objective."
Mr. Bodenheimer said, "We are pleased to have completed agreements with Cox that are good for both parties, and great for fans who will continue to enjoy ESPN and ESPN2 on expanded basic into the next decade. These agreements are consistent with ESPN's strategic plan, begun over a year ago, to offer our affiliates new deals with moderating rate adjustments for ESPN off a solid rate base, in exchange for long-term commitments and the distribution of new services from ESPN like ESPN HD and ESPN Deportes."
The long-term agreement includes the continued distribution of ESPN and ESPN2 on expanded basic; the carriage of ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic and ESPN HD and the launch of ESPN's new 24-hour Spanish-language network, ESPN Deportes, in markets where Cox offers a Spanish-language tier.
Cox Communications (NYSE: COX), a Fortune 500 company, is a multi-service broadband communications company with approximately 6.6 million total customers, including 6.3 million basic cable subscribers. The nation's fourth-largest cable television provider, Cox offers both analog cable television under the Cox Cable brand as well as advanced digital video service under the Cox Digital Cable brand. Cox provides an array of other communications and entertainment services, including local and long distance telephone under the Cox Digital Telephone brand; high-speed Internet access under the Cox High Speed Internet brand; and commercial voice and data services via Cox Business Services. Local cable advertising, promotional opportunities and production services are sold under the Cox Media(SM) brand. Cox is an investor in programming networks including Discovery Channel. More information about Cox Communications can be accessed on the Internet at www.cox.com.
ESPN, Inc. is the world's leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of over 40 multimedia sports assets. The company is comprised of seven domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Now, ESPN Today), ESPN HD, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (networks and syndication), ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, SportsTicker, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN Zones (sports-themed restaurants), and other growing new businesses including ESPN Broadband, ESPN Wireless, ESPN Video-on-Demand, ESPN Interactive and ESPN PPV. Based in Bristol, Ct., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.
CONTACT: Cox Communications