The Walt Disney Company (DIS) - NYSE
  • Aug. 27, 2013, 3:41 PM
    • The leverage between broadcasters (CMCSA, DIS, FXA, CBS, AMCX, VIAB) and the cable/satellite industry (TWC, CVC, CMCSA, CHTR, DTV, DISH) is so lopsided that BTIG says it feels as if the bazooka-carrying armored broadcasters are battling a cable/satellite group only carrying paper swords. A scenario that detriments U.S. consumers.
    • One solution proposed by BTIG is to allow retransmission fees to be negotiated in each market by the entire group via a little Congressional intervention. Not a perfect solution if major broadcasters decide to turn into cable networks, but potentially a workable one.
    • What to watch: It's only 9 days before NFL football starts and CBS vs. TWC goes to Defcon 1.
    | Aug. 27, 2013, 3:41 PM
  • Aug. 27, 2013, 2:06 PM
    • ESPN (DIS) and Turner Sports (TWX) are trying to negotiate their way out of a 10-year deal to broadcast NASCAR racing with NBC (CMCSA) set to start covering the sport in 2015.
    • Ratings for auto racing have come in below expectations and the networks don't want to pour resources into a sport that they are soon to exit.
    • Though sports have been a moneymaker for both ESPN and Turner, the NASCAR deal shows risks still exist with long-term rights deals.
    | Aug. 27, 2013, 2:06 PM
  • Aug. 26, 2013, 7:32 AM
    • A decision on a software license by ESPN (DIS) could be crucial to the future of the merger between Nielsen (NLSN) and Arbitron (ARB), according to The New York Post.
    • The sports juggernaut appears likely to leverage its initial opposition to the merger to secure favorable terms on a new license from Arbitron for software that helps it gauge viewer patterns and preferences.
    | Aug. 26, 2013, 7:32 AM
  • Aug. 23, 2013, 12:36 PM
    • Disney's (DIS +0.2%) mega-hot ESPN property dropped its collaboration with PBS' Frontline after the NFL had a heated meeting with the sports network's top brass.
    • Frontline is working on a long investigative report on the impact of head injuries in the football league.
    • The NFL denies the characterization it tried to hold sway, but sources indicate the documentary was front and center during the talks.
    | Aug. 23, 2013, 12:36 PM | 3 Comments
  • Aug. 22, 2013, 10:11 AM
    • Disney (DIS +0.4%) finds another way to squeeze money out of its Marvel characters with a new partnership between Marvel Entertainment and Hero Ventures which will feature a 4D motion ride as part of an interactive tour and simulation
    • The plan encompasses moving a 50K square foot dome to 20 to 24 cities.
    | Aug. 22, 2013, 10:11 AM | 2 Comments
  • Aug. 21, 2013, 3:23 PM
    • Disney (DIS -0.5%) says it will consider giving access to ESPN programming to online TV ventures similar to those being developed by Sony, Google, and Intel.
    • The key question is which events and what ESPN networks would be rolled into an online package from a tech giant aimed at disrupting the cable/satellite model (TWC, CHTR, CMCSA, DTV, DISH, CVC). In the past, sports have been viewed as keeping cord-cutting at bay.
    • The development looks particularly interesting following shortly after an announcement on a promising Sony-Viacom content deal and Google-NFL flirtation buzz.
    • The big picture: It's too early in the game to forecast a media/tech winner in the race to offer a broad online TV service, but owning shares of a NFL team might end up being the best investment of them all.
    | Aug. 21, 2013, 3:23 PM | 2 Comments
  • Aug. 21, 2013, 1:54 PM
    • Disney (DIS -0.7%) will shut down Toontown Online and two other online games for children as it increases its focus on Club Penguin and new mobile game ventures.
    • Club Penguin has been seriously beefed up with characters from the Star Wars franchise and Pixar movies popping up.
    • The big picture: With Disney Infinity up and running on top of the other gaming moves, losing money in the Disney Interactive segment may be a thing of the past for the company.
    | Aug. 21, 2013, 1:54 PM | 1 Comment
  • Aug. 21, 2013, 12:30 PM
    • Disney (DIS -0.8%) will eliminate about 175 positions in its Disney/ABC TV Group, according to a report in The Los Angeles Times.
    • The cuts will represent about 2.3% of the total workforce of the TV business.
    • The move follows a broader pattern at Disney of hopping around from segment to segment to make strategic reductions tied to streamlining.
    | Aug. 21, 2013, 12:30 PM | 1 Comment
  • Aug. 19, 2013, 2:26 PM
    • Disney (DIS -0.2%) hears mixed review for Disney Infinity which has been hailed as the answer to a long streak of under-performance for the company's Disney Interactive segment.
    • Though the integration of well-known Disney franchise characters in the gaming system is impressive and it looks geared to appeal strongly to the Minecraft crowd, some critics think it doesn't leave teenagers and adults as much to be excited about.
    • Reviews: Seattle Post-Intelligencer, VentureBeat, Financial Post, Gameinformer.com
    | Aug. 19, 2013, 2:26 PM
  • Aug. 19, 2013, 10:53 AM
    • Sony's (SNE +0.5%) deal with Viacom (VIAB -0.2%) should help it as it negotiates with other programmers off an existing baseline contract.
    • Companies such as Disney (DIS) and Time Warner (TWX) may consider jumping in with Sony's service at ground-level to create a viable cable/satellite alternative or a fragmented online TV market could exist if other tech giants also land content deals.
    • It won't be the death of the cable box just yet, but the Sony TV service appears set to present the under-40 crowd a strong new cord-cutting option.
    | Aug. 19, 2013, 10:53 AM
  • Aug. 16, 2013, 8:27 AM
    • Disney (DIS) introduces Infinity this weekend with high hopes that the system which fuses online play with physical toys will turn around the fortunes of the company's only unprofitable division.
    • Infinity will draw from a large well of Disney's intellectual property and franchises to market to both young gamers (Buzz Lightyear, Sulley) and teens (Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars?).
    • What to watch: A strong debut by Infinity could unnerve investors of Activision (ATVI).
    | Aug. 16, 2013, 8:27 AM | 1 Comment
  • Aug. 16, 2013, 3:26 AM
    • Fox's (FOXA) national sports channel is due to launch tomorrow morning "with every major distributor on board," including DirecTV (DTV), Dish Network (DISH) and Time Warner Cable (TWC), as well as Comcast (CMCSA) and AT&T (T).
    • Fox reportedly persuaded the TV companies to sign up after agreeing not to raise the price of $0.23 per subscriber they were paying for Speed, the auto-racing network that Fox Sports 1 is replacing. Fox had initially asked for $0.80.
    • The new channel will reach 90M households and its line-up will include college football and Major League Baseball.
    • However, Fox Sports 1 faces major competition from Disney's (DIS) money making machine, ESPN, which, as Fox Sports executive Randy Freer admits, "has a 30-year head start and an astronomical revenue stream."
    | Aug. 16, 2013, 3:26 AM
  • Aug. 15, 2013, 3:23 PM
    • Orlando marketing firm Visit Orlando lifts its projection for visitors to Orlando up to a 2%-3% range from 1.5% after accounting for a recent rush. July and early August bookings are up 6.3% Y/Y.
    • A curiosity in the industry was witnessed during the most recent quarter when Disney (DIS -2.5%) and Comcast's (CMCSA -2.5%) Universal reported strong traffic trends for Orlando parks during their most recent quarter while neighbor SeaWorld (SEAS -4.1%) blamed weather for a drop in attendance.
    • The big picture: Capital spending is paying off for operators as demand stays steady. Theme Park Insider forecasts the current traffic trends in California and Florida will hold up until the end of the season.
    | Aug. 15, 2013, 3:23 PM | 1 Comment
  • Aug. 15, 2013, 10:41 AM
    • The value of Disney's (DIS -2.1%) ESPN could be even higher than where some projections land, according to The Atlantic.
    • A pencil-on-napkin estimate on ESPN's +$5/month fee per cable subscriber , the pay-TV base, and advertising revenue levels leads to a $40B to $60B valuation to dwarf old media companies such as The New York Times or CBS.
    • While much has been made on new rivals, including Fox Sports 1 (FOXA -1.2%), the power of the ESPN brand is such that sports viewers still flock to it before and after major events (NCAA basketball tournament, Super Bowl, World Series).
    • "ESPN has a 30-year head start and an astronomical revenue stream," admits Fox Sports exec Randy Freer.
    | Aug. 15, 2013, 10:41 AM | 1 Comment
  • Aug. 15, 2013, 9:40 AM
    | Aug. 15, 2013, 9:40 AM | 1 Comment
  • Aug. 15, 2013, 7:48 AM
    • Third Point disclosed a $115M holding in Disney (DIS) at the end of June.
    • Sources indicate Daniel Loeb won't try to push for the same type of changes at the company that he wants at Sony.
    • SEC Form 13F
    | Aug. 15, 2013, 7:48 AM
Company Description
The Walt Disney Co. together with its subsidiaries and affiliates is a diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise. It operates through five business segments: Media Networks, Parks & Resorts, Studio Entertainment, Consumer Products and Interactive Media. The Media... More
Sector: Services
Industry: Entertainment - Diversified
Country: United States