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The Walt Disney Company (DIS)

  • Mar. 6, 2014, 12:59 PM
    • Disney Interactive (DIS +0.7%) will reduce its workforce by 26% with a round of 700 fresh job cuts.
    • The action has been tipped off in the past by Disney execs, but the figure came in higher than expected.
    • On the strategy side, Disney Interactive plans to look for more licensing opportunities and new partnerships instead of developing games in-house.
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  • Mar. 4, 2014, 10:53 AM
    • Dish Network (DISH +1.2%) and Disney (DIS +3.2%) have a bit of an edge over rivals after striking a "win-win" deal in which both sides received a competitive advantage, thinks Wells Fargo.
    • Disney: ABC will be able to tell potential advertisers that Dish's Auto Hop will be disabled for three days for some of its shows. Dish has also agreed to carry the Fusion channel which is a promising JV project between Disney and Univision.
    • Dish: The ability for the company to create an online TV product looks a lot more promising after it landed streaming rights to Disney content. WatchESPN is considered must-have content for any serious online pay-TV service.
  • Mar. 4, 2014, 10:20 AM
    • The DOJ has come in on the side of broadcasters (DIS, CMCSA, CBS, FOXA) in the fight between the media giants and Aereo over its streaming broadcast service
    • The case is now in front of the Supreme Court with both sides working on written briefs.
    • In its filing, attorneys from the DOJ argue more than hint that the Supreme Court should offer a narrow view on the Aereo issue without spilling over to other issues on new ways to record shows.
    • The concern is that the Aereo case ruling by SCOTUS will be used to limit innovative cloud-based media services or online TV ventures.
  • Mar. 4, 2014, 6:49 AM
    • Dish Network (DISH) agrees to cut back on the use of its ad-skipping technology for ABC shows as part of a long-term carriage and distribution deal with Disney (DIS). The move could help Disney bring in more advertising revenue than peers.
    • ABC will drop litigation with Dish over the Auto Hop Feature.
    • An important part of the arrangement between the two companies gives Dish the online video rights to Disney-owned TV shows.
    • The development could make it easier for Dish to launch an online TV service in the future to set it apart from other pay-TV providers.
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  • Mar. 3, 2014, 4:57 AM
    • Fox Searchlight's (FOXA) "12 Years a Slave" has won the Oscar for the Best Picture and picked up two other Academy awards.
    • Warner Bros' (TWX) "Gravity" received the most gongs with seven Oscars, including Best Director for director Alfonso Cuaron.
    • Disney's (DIS) "Frozen," which has taken over $1B at the box office, took Oscars for best animated feature film and original song.
    • However, Paramount Pictures' (VIAB) "The Wolf of Wall Street" failed to win any awards despite five nominations, while "American Hustle" came away empty handed despite 10 nominations.
    • Host Ellen DeGeneres caused Twitter (TWTR) to crash briefly after posting a star-studded selfie that was retweeted over 2M times, setting a new record.
  • Mar. 2, 2014, 1:07 PM
    • Frozen passed the $1B in global box office receipts this weekend as the film continues to play well in various international markets.
    • The movie is now the most successful non-sequel animated film of all-time and only the 7th Disney (DIS) film to ever cross the billion-dollar mark.
    • Frozen isn't ready to thaw out just yet: The movie is favored to win two Academy Awards tonight and debuts in Japan later this month.
    • What to watch: The success of Frozen sets up the potential for a vibrant Disney franchise with theme park and consumer product tie-ins.
  • Feb. 25, 2014, 3:24 PM
    • Disney's (DIS -0.7%) new online movie service could stabilize its home-entertainment business which hasn't been keeping up with other Disney segments, says Stifel Nicolaus.
    • Disney Movies Anywhere is expected to help boost profits on content from Disney-owned studios - instead of seeing the company rely on Netflix and movie sales through third-party providers.
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  • Feb. 25, 2014, 9:09 AM
    • Disney (DIS) continues to push a proprietary cloud-based movie service called Disney Movies Anywhere instead of joining other content providers in the Ultra Violet digital rights system.
    • The company has a still-developing alliance with Apple that allows Disney, Pixar, and Marvel titles to be viewed on Apple devices. Consumers can store their purchased content in a digital locker that is connected to their iTunes account.
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  • Feb. 24, 2014, 4:02 PM
    • The opening brief to the Supreme Court from a group of broadcasters (DIS, CMCSA, CBS, FOXA) challenging Aereo makes the claim that the startup's rebroadcast concept violates the Copyright Act.
    • The filing says if Aereo is allowed to proceed that the whole pay-TV system could crumble as other cable and satellite companies create their own methods of broadcasting content without paying for it.
    • Oral arguments will commence in front of the court on April 22.
  • Feb. 24, 2014, 12:59 PM
    • Prices at Disney's (DIS +1.4%) Magic Kingdom Park rose 4.2% to $99 starting yesterday.
    • A one-day ticket to Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios also saw a hike, moving up 4.4% to $94.
    • In recent quarters, Disney has seen average guest spending at its theme parks show solid growth.
  • Feb. 20, 2014, 4:47 AM
    • Broadcasters have won their first legal victory against Aereo after a federal judge in Utah placed an injunction on the company in a number of states, including Utah, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and parts of Montana and Idaho.
    • Judge Dale Kimball said that by streaming TV signals over the Internet for a monthly fee without the permission of TV stations, Aereo is violating the copyrights of broadcasters.
    • The ruling follows a string of defeats for broadcasters and comes ahead of a case in the Supreme Court.
    • Aereo's backers include media mogul Barry Diller and InterActiveCorp (IACI), while its legal opponents include Disney's (DIS) ABC, CBS (CBS), Fox (FOXA) and Comcast's (CMCSA) NBC.
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  • Feb. 18, 2014, 1:54 PM
    • Shares of Disney (DIS +0.4%) touch $80 for the first time in intra-day trading.
    • A strong Q4 report and re-assuring guidance from Disney set up shares to take this new leg higher.
  • Feb. 14, 2014, 9:50 AM
    • JPMorgan analyst Thomas Lee thinks personal spending in the U.S. will hold up enough to give a boost to consumer stocks.
    • He has seven large cap consumer stocks lined up as recommended picks for investors to buy. The list runs the gamut from beaten-down retailers to media giants.
    • JPM's top consumer stocks: Best Buy (BBY), Coach (COH), Disney (DIS), Lowe's (LOW), Macy's (M), MGM Resorts (MGM), Viacom (VIAB).
  • Feb. 13, 2014, 12:48 PM
    • The media industry is busy evaluating the impact of a Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger even if the DOJ clips the size of the deal a bit.
    • A key word for content providers today is leverage. A larger Comcast (CMCSA), (broadband and Pay-TV) would give it additional clout in negotiating retransmission contracts with networks (CBS, FOXA, AMCX, DISCA, SNI) and studios (DIS, TWX, LGF, SNE, DWA, VIAB) for home video sales.
    • The relationship between streaming firms and Comcast could get more complicated. Though studios rake in money from Netflix, if Comcast ever decides to charge its massive base of broadband subscribers on a usage basis - both Netflix (NFLX) and Hulu are in harm's way.
    • Companies with future ambitions in the online TV area (think Sony) might see additional pressures from a larger Comcast. In theory, the media giant could launch a similar national service.
    • Related ETFs: PBS
  • Feb. 13, 2014, 10:16 AM
    • Disney (DIS +0.1%) says it will partner with TechStars to help give a boost to ten media/entertainment startups.
    • The company will kick in $120K and access to Disney executives for each aspiring startup.
    • The program, called Disney Accelerator, aims to hit a home run similar to how Y Combinator did with Dropbox.
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  • Feb. 12, 2014, 7:33 AM
    • Nielsen (NLSN) says it won't include broadband-only households for its local TV ratings after caving into pressure from the broadcast industry.
    • Major ad agencies support having Nielsen take a look at how over-the-top players such as Netflix (NFLX) and Hulu (DIS, CMCSA, FOXA) impact TV viewing, but for the time being will have to wait a little longer before getting some solid ratings numbers.
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Company Description
Walt Disney Co, together with its subsidiaries, is a diversified entertainment company with operations in five business segments: Media Networks, Parks and Resorts, Studio Entertainment, Consumer Products and Interactive.