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The Walt Disney Company (DIS)

  • Oct. 8, 2014, 7:22 AM
    • Hulu (DIS, CMCSA, FOXA) CEO Mike Hopkins is mulling over reducing the numbers of advertisements that run on Hulu Plus, according to the New York Post.
    • Data from comScore indicated Hulu showed 250% more ads than what was seen on YouTube and other Google properties during a tracking period.
    • The ongoing shift of ad dollars from TV to online channels still benefits Hulu even with a lower ad count.
  • Oct. 7, 2014, 1:22 PM
    • Consumers will end paying for the "reckless spending" of major networks for sports coverage rights, warns Mediacom's Tom Larsen.
    • Earlier this week, ESPN (NYSE:DIS) and TNT (NYSE:TWX) signed 9-year contracts which will triple the amount they spend for NBA rights.
    • Though the added costs won't start piling up until the 2015-2016 NBA season ends, some media analysts think a bubble has been built up on sports licensing costs that could burst before then.
    • The pay-TV sector could suffer if consumers hit the wall on rising monthly TV bills.
    • Related stocks: DISH, DTV, CHTR, TWC, CMCSA, CVC.
  • Oct. 6, 2014, 10:45 AM
    • ESPN's new deal with the NBA will let it experiment with selling online access to "out of market" games outside of the traditional pay-TV bundle.
    • Though the initiative could take several years to take form, it will mark another small step toward a la carte programming for consumers.
    • Media analysts note the length of the contract between the NBA with Disney (DIS +0.7%) and Time Warner (TWX) effectively boxes out Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) and NBC (NASDAQ:CMCSA) until past the 2024-2025 season.
    • On the pay-TV side, operators such as Comcast, Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH), AT&T (NYSE:T), Cablevision (NYSE:CVC), Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) and DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV) have to fret over an online product competing with their sports packages which include NBA games.
  • Oct. 6, 2014, 4:02 AM
    • Euro Disney (OTCPK:EUDSF) has agreed to a €1B funding deal backed by its largest shareholder, Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS).
    • The plan includes a rights issue of €420M open to all shareholders and backed by Walt Disney. The move would improve the cash position of Euro Disney by about €250M.
    • In addition, about €600M of the group's debt owed to Walt Disney will be converted into equity, while credit lines extended to Euro Disney by its parent will be consolidated.
  • Oct. 6, 2014, 2:00 AM
    • The National Basketball Association has reached long-term media rights contracts with Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) and Time Warner's (NYSE:TWX) Turner Broadcasting, which more than doubles the current $485M and $445M fees the companies pay annually.
    • The league also plans to partner with ESPN for a new online video service that would show live regular season games.
    • The contracts will give Disney and Turner the rights to NBA games through the 2024-25 season.
    • Previously: Report: ESPN and TNT to lock up key NBA rights deals
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  • Oct. 5, 2014, 8:55 PM
    • The NBA is expected to make an announcement tomorrow that it will renew TV rights deals worth close to $2B with ESPN (NYSE:DIS) and TNT (NYSE:TWX).
    • The development would end speculation that NBC Sports, Fox Sports, or an online TV player would win the coveted packages to replace the current contracts which expire in 2016.
    • Variety reports the NBA contract is the last major sports league deal that ESPN will have to negotiate over the next several years.
  • Oct. 2, 2014, 2:07 PM
    • Bob Iger, previously set to retire in June 2016, will remain Disney's (DIS -1.1%) chairman/CEO for two years longer, under the terms of a contract extension.
    • The extension "maintains the same annual compensation terms" as Iger's existing deal, but includes "the opportunity to earn a performance-based retention bonus if certain financial performance goals are met over a five-year period ending with fiscal year 2018." Details will be provided in an 8-K tomorrow.
    • As it is, there had been speculation Iger, 63, would stay on board beyond 2016.
  • Oct. 2, 2014, 9:28 AM
    • A survey of consumers by RBC Capital Markets indicates viewership of network TV websites has fallen.
    • YouTube, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) scored a higher percentage of viewers from a year ago - while NBC (NASDAQ:CMCSA), ABC (NYSE:DIS), CBS (NYSE:CBS), and Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA) were all in decline over the period.
    • HBO Go (NYSE:TWX) saw its percentage of users rise to 10% from 6%, while Hulu fell back.
    • Secular TV ratings have also been in decline for networks.
  • Oct. 1, 2014, 9:55 AM
    • Theme park stocks slide lower than market averages after a single case of Ebola in Dallas creates a talking point.
    • Plenty of traders think the dip is providing a good entry point for names in the group off what they consider undue anxiety.
    • Decliners: Disney (NYSE:DIS) -1.1%, Cedar Fair (NYSE:FUN) -0.6%, Six Flags (NYSE:SIX) -0.8%, SeaWorld (NYSE:SEAS) -1.1%.
  • Sep. 30, 2014, 11:17 PM
    • Pre-orders for upcoming Disney (NYSE:DIS) movies are available on (NASDAQ:AMZN) again in what could be an early indication that a deal has been worked out between the two companies
    • Disney titles went missing from Amazon's site amid a dispute over pricing policies.
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  • Sep. 30, 2014, 1:17 PM
    • The long-established window for feature films established between Hollywood studios and theater exhibitors will crack in a major fashion next summer when Netflix (NFLX +1.1%) and IMAX (IMAX +0.7%) jointly release a film online and through the large-screen IMAX format.
    • Though media analysts think theater chains will continue to bristle over the game-changing initiative - and for now IMAX says it will let exhibitors control the films that run on IMAX screens - IMAX sits in a powerful position in the future if it wants to play hardball.
    • "Netflix already changed the TV business in a very, very significant way. The movie business is teed up next," says BTIG's Rich Greenfield on the development.
    • Netflix and Weinstein are collaborating on a number of projects, several of which could turn into straight-to-streaming feature films.
    • What to watch: Hollywood studios (LGF, SNE, VIA, CMCSA, DIS) could be the ones to have the final say on if the feature film window model is adjusted.
  • Sep. 30, 2014, 9:19 AM
    • The FCC is considering new regulations for companies looking to offer an over-the-top online video service, according to The Wall Street Journal.
    • Rules governing OTT services could make it harder for content providers and distributors to carve out smaller deals for programming.
    • Traditional streamers such as Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Hulu (DIS, CMCSA, FOXA), and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) that offer their content on-demand should be outside the regulatory purview of the FCC on the OTT startups.
    • Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH), Sony (NYSE:SNE), and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) are the furthest along in the race for a trimmed-down online video package aimed largely at cord-cutters and cord-nevers.
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  • Sep. 30, 2014, 8:07 AM
    • Cowen Research says the trend of sluggish TV ratings has continued through Q3.
    • The investment firm estimates broadcast viewers in the key 18-49 year old demographic fell 8% Y/Y (ex. Thursday night football) last week on a live+3 reading.
    • There's growing concern in the sector that more advertising dollars will float to digital channels due to the ratings slump.
    • Related stocks: CBS, CMCSA, DIS, FOXA, AMCX, VIA, SNI, CRWN, MSG.
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  • Sep. 24, 2014, 11:21 AM
    • Hasbro (HAS +3.1%) announces a new merchandising partnership with Disney (DIS +0.7%).
    • The deal will give Hasbro the rights to sell Disney princess dolls globally, including those tied to the hit movie Frozen.
    • Disney doll seller Jakks Pacific (JAKK -2.2%) is lower on the day off the development.
  • Sep. 23, 2014, 1:52 PM
    • Jakks Pacific (JAKK -0.3%) could rake in $125M this year from sales of Disney princess dolls based on the movie Frozen, according to Ascendiant Capital Markets.
    • The company has added five factories in China to its production assets in order to make sure demand is met.
    • Frozen dolls from Jakks are included on lists for the top holiday toys from both Toys R Us and Wal-Mart.
    • Disney (DIS -0.8%) gets a cut of the doll action through its consumer products segment.
  • Sep. 22, 2014, 2:43 PM
    • Hulu (DIS, CMCSA, FOXA) announces via its corporate blog that it will develop an original series based on a Stephen King book in partnership with Bad Robot.
    • The direct-to-series approach by Hulu for King's 11/22/63 stands in contrast to the norm from Amazon Prime Instant and Netflix.
    • Media watchers give 11/22/63 a fair chance to create a buzz for the online subscription service.
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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.