Disney adds more shows for Apple’s iTunes

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The Walt Disney Co. is adding content from its ESPN channel and ABC sports to the shows it already sells on Apple Computer Inc.’s market-leading iTunes online music and video store.

Walt Disney said on Tuesday that the content will include condensed versions of all four U.S. Bowl Championship Series college football games this season, as well as content from ABC Entertainment, Touchstone Television, ABC Family, ABC News, Buena Vista Television, the Disney Channel and SOAPnet.

Walt Disney was the first media company to make a deal with Apple to sell video on the iTunes music store when Apple in October unveiled its iPod that also plays video. It started then offering episodes of such hit shows as “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost” for electronic sale.

NBC Universal followed Disney in December, announcing that it had begun selling television shows on iTunes, ranging from “Law & Order” to “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” another attempt by a major network to reach beyond the traditional television audience and to new markets like portable media.

In addition to the ESPN and ABC Sports content, Disney said that more programming will be for sale later this month on iTunes, including “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and the 1970s Saturday morning “School House Rock” vignettes.

Also, free ad-supported video podcasts from ABC News will be available, including daily segments from “Good Morning America” and the “World News Tonight” webcast, Disney said.