Liberty, Comcast Set Asset Swap

Comcast ( CMCSA) agreed to swap its stake in Liberty Media ( L) for ownership of a company that holds Liberty's stake in the E! cable channel and other programming assets.

The deal appears to be worth around $1 billion, going by the value of Liberty stock involved in the agreement. The Englewood, Colo., owner of cable and media properties will redeem 120 million Liberty shares held by Philadelphia-based Comcast. In exchange, Comcast will take ownership of a company called Encore ICCP that holds the programming assets and $545 million in cash.

The programming assets include a 10% stake in E! Entertainment Television, full ownership of the International Channel Networks and Liberty's rights under a TCI music contribution agreement.

The companies said the deal would resolve all litigation pending between Comcast and Liberty Media regarding the TCI Music contribution agreement, which Comcast inherited as part of its acquisition of AT&T Broadband in November 2002.

The swap comes as Comcast rolls out a broadband distribution deal with Disney ( DIS). The agreement makes ABC News on demand video and ABC News Live, 24/7 live streaming news programming, immediately and easily accessible to Comcast's high-speed Internet customers, at no additional cost, the companies said.

The linkup is noteworthy because Comcast this February launched a failed unsolicited bid for Disney, a move that helped lead to a shakeup in the Burbank, Calif., media giant's executive suite. CEO Michael Eisner was forced to relinquish his long-held chairman post, but he retained power at the company and promised investors to boost earnings in coming years.

Early Wednesday, Comcast rose a dime to $28.45 and Liberty rose 22 cents to $8.75.

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