Disney in Talks With Yahoo! to Offer Content on Its Web TVs

The company is considering widgets for ESPN, ABC and Disney Channel clips, but it isn’t clear if the firm could also offer full episodes of ABC shows.

NEW YORK - Walt Disney is considering making at least some video from some of its TV networks available on TV sets with Yahoo!'s Internet TV software in a move that would make the online firm a bigger player in the effort to merge the Web and traditional TV, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Apple, Google and others have also looked to stake out their turf in this space, but particularly Google TV has faced opposition and delays in its talks with content companies.

Yahoo Connected TV software is built into a TV sets and allows media companies to create so-called widgets that people can use as they watch TV. To-date, these widgets don't offer much free video from TV networks as many content firms see direct delivery to Web TV sets as a way to potentially upset the traditional TV eco-system, the Journal highlighted. For example, Disney's ABC and other networks have blocked users of Google's Google TV from accessing free episodes of TV hits on networks’ Web sites.

But the Journal said Disney is looking to test the waters, and News Corp. is also talking about licensing TV shows and movies for use on Internet-connected TVs.

Disney is looking at potentially creating widgets for its ESPN, ABC and Disney networks, according to the paper. The ESPN widget, for example, could include short clips with scores and statistics, while another widget could feature clips from the Disney Channel. The ABC widget could offer limited content from TV shows, but it remains unclear if the network would also offer full episodes, the Journal said.