Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Disney’s Cheng Talks About New Apple App That Lets You Watch “Phineas and Ferb” Live (Video)

Disney is launching three apps for the iPhone and iPod that will allow users to watch Disney Channel shows like “Phineas and Ferb” and “Good Luck Charlie” live and on demand, anywhere they want.

Called WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH Disney XD and WATCH Disney Junior, perhaps the most important feature of the apps is that they will offer live streams — just like the WatchESPN app that Disney launched a year ago.

The free apps will be done initially in partnership with Comcast, part of the cable giant’s TV Everywhere effort. In many ways, the effort is like a kid’s version of HBO Go, the successful Time Warner app that allows the pay television channel’s subscribers to access its shows on a number of devices.

This one will be available to Xfinity TV customers who get Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior networks as part of their monthly video service.

Users of the service will need to verify their Comcast Xfinity TV credentials to access the shows. Users who don’t subscribe to Disney will also have access to a limited number of on-demand episodes.

The deal between Disney and Comcast is part of a long-term distribution agreement announced earlier this year to deliver its content to cable subscribers.

It is also part of Disney’s efforts to find an increasing number of distribution outlets for its mass of popular content, including on Netflix and Hulu.

Disney CEO Bob Iger had signaled that the apps were coming at an investment conference several weeks ago, noting that Comcast was paying for the service.

Here’s Albert Cheng, EVP and Chief Product Officer of digital media for the Disney/ABC Television Group, talking about the new apps:

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus