Aug. 21, 2014, 9:36 AM
- Disney (DIS +0.3%) announces it released a free Star Wars game for mobile devices through Disney Interactive as it continues its Star Wars content blitz.
- The company is also starting to integrate Star Wars into its theme parks with construction starting on new "lands" devoted to the franchise and will sell more Stars Wars-related toys at retail outlets.
- What to watch: Analysts are divided on how much of a Star Wars impact is already baked into Disney's $90 share price. Some think Star Wars spending by consumers will just crowd out other Disney franchises, while other see huge untapped potential.
Aug. 20, 2014, 11:09 AM
- California Governor Jerry Brown has yet to weigh in on if he will sign a $1.6B incentive plan to keep movie and TV production in California.
- The four-year initiative has passed legislative obstacles as state lawmakers look to compete with packages being offered Hollywood studios (LGF, SNE, VIA, CMCSA, DIS) by New York and Louisiana.
- Brown is expected to try to clip the total down from $1.6B.
Aug. 19, 2014, 11:27 AM
- Disney (DIS) will premiere a one-hour Star Wars movie on its Disney XD app and WatchDisneyXD.com on September 29. Star Wars Rebels: Spark Of Rebellion will be available for pay-TV subscribers who authenticate their log-information.
- The online film will be followed on October 13 by the TV launch of Star Wars Rebels on the Disney XD network in 163 different countries.
- The plot timeline for Star War Rebels is roughly five years before the chronology of the original Star Wars.
Aug. 18, 2014, 1:35 PM
- Shares of Disney (DIS +0.9%) cross over the $90 level for the first time as investors continue to bet on the long-term potential of the company's franchises.
- A new line of thought on Disney is that the SEC Network property has been undervalued by some analysts.
- The SEC Network is already off to a much stronger start than either the Big 10 Network or Pac-12 Networks, and is likely to improve on its +$1 per subscriber carriage fee rate with pay-TV operators as Disney pushes sports bundles.
Aug. 18, 2014, 11:44 AM
- The top 12 films in the U.S. took in $128.8M over the weekend to mark a 6% improvement over last year's corresponding haul.
- U.S. box office sales for August are on track to set a record for the month.
- The development gives some support to the argument that the weak box office in June and July was tied to a weak slate - not fundamental demand shifts.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (VIA, VIAB) and Guardian of the Galaxy (NYSE:DIS) took in $28.4M and $24.7M, respectively, to dominate the weekend - while Expendables 3 (NYSE:LGF) limped in with a disappointing $16.3M opening.
- Related stocks: RGC, AMC, CNK, IMAX, RLD, SNE, CMCSA, TWX, MCS, RDI, CKEC, FOXA, DWA.
Aug. 17, 2014, 10:21 AM
- Demand for Disney (NYSE:DIS) DVD titles is on the rise at Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) after the retail giant decided to aggressively step into a distribution void left when Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) blocked Disney DVD purchases on its website.
- Pre-orders for Captain America: The Winter Soldier soared 90% after Wal-Mart offered a price cut on the Marvel film to $14.96 vs. the list price of $14.99 on Amazon where consumers can only sign up for an e-mail notification on availability.
- Analysts note that although DVD sales are only a small piece of the e-commerce pie, any development that levels out the playing field is a boost to Wal-Mart's online brand. Global e-commerce sales rose 24% at Wal-Mart in Q2, led by double-digit growth in the U.S. and China.
- What to watch: DVD sales typically peak during the holiday shopping season giving Disney even more leverage in ongoing negotiations with Amazon over pricing.
Aug. 15, 2014, 2:25 PM
Aug. 14, 2014, 9:11 AM
- Wanda Group tops a list of potential acquirers of Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) put together by The Hollywood Reporter.
- The Chinese real estate conglomerate is already building a $1.2B compound in California and has promised to make Wanda a global brand through major entertainment property purchases.
- If a Wanda bid fails to materialize, some other heavy hitters are waiting in the background.
- Disney (NYSE:DIS): The combination of Marvel and DC Comics is a natural, while the enormous leverage opportunities presented could make the acquisition price easier to digest.
- Apple: Scrapping up the cash for a TWX offer isn't a concern for the Cupertino tech giant, while the enormous content library could give the Apple TV product the edge it needs.
- Google: The company has been coy about making a major media acquisition, but some analysts think the time is right to ensure it holds its position as peers diversify into content.
- 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA): Though Rupert Murdoch seems to have permanently wadded up the offer for Time Warner, some analysts say where there's an ego there's a way.
Aug. 13, 2014, 12:46 PM
- Nielsen ratings for cable TV viewing fell 6.8% in July, while broadcast viewership was off 3.7% for the period.
- The development comes on top of a weak upfront for the fall season which could pressure media companies in 2H, and widespread interest in the World Cup which aired on ABC and ESPN during the month.
- Broadcast viewership Y/Y gains/losses: ABC +3%, Fox -12%, CBS -6%, NBC -2%.
- Cable viewership Y/Y gains/losses by parent: AMCX -15%, FOXA +12%, SNI +2%, DIS +1%, DISCA -9%, VIAB -9%, NBCU (NASDAQ:CMCSA) -11%, TWX -17% A&E -20%.
Aug. 12, 2014, 11:39 AM
- Upfront TV advertising volume fell 6.1% to $18.125B this year, according to Adweek.
- The mark is inclusive of a 4.7% decline in cable upfront dollars.
- Procter & Gamble and General Motors were two notable consumer product giants that took a cautious approach during the upfront period this year.
- Though increased spending on digital advertising is responsible for part of the slower growth, industry insiders think a shift toward "real-time" advertising decision-making is also a factor
- Related stocks: DIS, CMCSA, CBS, FOXA, TWX, AMCX, VIA.
Aug. 12, 2014, 5:52 AM
- The dispute that has erupted between Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Disney (NYSE:DIS) which halted some movie preorders is not only about price, the WSJ reports.
- Differences regarding promotion and product placement on Amazon's website, as well as who makes up the price difference when Amazon loses money due to matching policies are also main factors in the disagreement.
- However, sales of previously released Disney movies, as well as the company's toys, books and other products, have not been affected.
Aug. 11, 2014, 11:19 AM
- Shares of Disney (DIS +1.1%) aren't showing any ill effect from Amazon's move to halt DVD pre-orders.
- Media analysts are quick to note that Amazon's leverage isn't that great with all the streaming and retail options consumers have to pick up favorite titles.
- Disney's partnership with Hulu and cozy relationship with Apple make its Amazon distribution worries only a minor headache.
Aug. 11, 2014, 2:55 AM
- Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has halted some preorders of Disney (NYSE:DIS) movies, such as Maleficent and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, in what appears to be yet another contract disagreement.
- A similar tactic has been in use on the Hachette Book Group (OTCPK:LGDDF) for the past four months. Amazon has blocked customers' preorders and delayed shipments of the publisher due to a dispute over e-book pricing.
Aug. 10, 2014, 9:37 PM
- The solid trend continues for the film industry as weekend revenue for the top 12 movies rose 22% compared to the year-ago period to $173.6M. The month is tracking for a +$900M total, and could even topple $1B which would be the first time the level has ever been achieved in August.
- Guardians of the Galaxy passed the $300M mark as the Marvel (NYSE:DIS) movie opened in dozens of countries over the weekend. The box office cume will go even higher after the film debuts in China and Japan.
- Paramount Pictures (VIA, VIAB) had a stellar weekend after Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hauled in $63.5M during its run at 3,845 U.S. location and $93.7M globally. Twenty-somethings came out in force due to the nostalgia factor, according to exit surveys. The studio has already announced that it will back a sequel for 2016.
- Related stocks: RGC, AMC, CNK, IMAX, RLD, SNE, LGF,CMCSA, TWX, MCS, RDI, CKEC.
Aug. 6, 2014, 1:37 PM
- Charter Communications (CHTR -0.1%) has reached an agreement with ESPN (NYSE:DIS) over distribution of the SEC Network,
- Subscribers will have access to SEC football on mobile devices by using their Charter authentication information.
- The ease with which ESPN has lined up carriage deals pales in comparison to the stalemate between Time Warner Cable and DirecTV over regional sports network SportsNet LA.
Aug. 6, 2014, 8:49 AM
- Execs with Disney (NYSE:DIS) used the music from Frozen to set the stage for their comments on the company's FQ3 performance.
- Theme park attendance growth has been in the single-digits, but guest spending has been boosted by the MyMagic+ program. CFO Jay Rasulo says the program has more revenue impact to come.
- CEO Bob Iger seemed unconcerned about any revenue slowdown at ESPN. He noted advertisers are buying spots closer to the run dates and ESPN had an "extremely good" upfront.
- The company says it's very bullish on the SEC Network. There is an expectation that 60M U.S. subscribers will watch the SEC programming beginning this month.
- A question about Disney's relationship with Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) drew an enthusiastic response from Iger. No concrete numbers were thrown out, but it appears Disney will continue to benefit as Netflix grows globally. The Disney brands can be "well monetized" on the Netflix platform, notes Iger.
- Earnings call transcript
- DIS -0.5% premarket
DIS vs. ETF Alternatives
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.
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