Verizon And Disney Expand Partnership

Verizon and Disney are expanding their distribution and marketing partnership to add the full Disney+/Hulu/ESPN+ bundle at no charge for 12 months for subscribers to two wireless plans. Beginning Thursday, customers who choose the “Play More Unlimited” or “Get More Unlimited” packages will get the bundle for free as part of their monthly cost of $45 or $55 before taxes and fees. Disney charges $13 a month for its three-service bundle. If bought separately, they would be $19.

Disney CEO Scrapping Once-Sacred Businesses

When Walt Disney Co. announced that it had closed more than 20 foreign TV channels last week, Chief Executive Officer Bob Chapek looked like he was taking the knife to a big chunk of the company’s international audience. The move would have been unthinkable a few years ago. But Chapek — less than six months after succeeding longtime CEO Bob Iger — is using the COVID-19 crisis to transform Disney much faster than expected, all with an eye toward making the company an online juggernaut that reaches far more people worldwide.

How ‘Mulan’s’ Move To Disney+ Could Signal The Future Of Streaming

Analysts and theater owners believe, if successful, Mulan could signal a sea change wherein theatrical tentpoles become premium tier offerings driving revenue above and beyond base subscriptions.

Disney Stock Rises On Analysts’ Upgrades

Wall Street analysts covering Walt Disney on Wednesday focused on the future digital upside for the Hollywood giant instead of the near-term financial pain caused by the coronavirus pandemic, with several raising their stock price targets for the company and two upgrading the stock.

‘Mulan’ To Premiere On Disney+

EARNINGS CALL

Disney Took $3 Billion Hit From COVID-19

Improved operating income results for broadcasting and cable couldn’t offset the pandemic’s impact on theme parks, resorts and cruise ships.

QUARTERLY REPORTS

Disney Quarterly Revenue Falls 42%

For quarter that ended June 27, the Walt Disney Co. posted a loss of $4.84 billion, or $2.61 per share, compared to a profit of 79 cents in the prior year quarter. Revenue fell 42% to $11.78 billion, missing analyst expectations of $12.39 billion, according to FactSet.

Women In Technology Awards And ‘Predictions 2021’ Panel Set For Oct. 19

TVNewsCheck will present a virtualized 10th Annual Women in Technology Awards presentation ceremony and immediately after it, a “Predictions for 2021” panel session featuring all six honorees talking about how widespread remote production and other developments this year are likely to affect technology in 2021. Honorees are (top, l-r): SMPTE’s Barbara Lange, WarnerMedia’s Lisa Pedrogo, Perspective Media’s Janet Gardner, (bottom, l-r): Avid’s Kate Ketcham, Latakoo’s Jade Kurian and Walt Disney Co.’s Sally Hattori. To attend the event on Monday, Oct. 19, at 4 p.m. ET, please register here.

 

Animals, Caretakers At Disney Theme Park Getting TV Show

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The lions, kangaroos and elephants at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom are ready for their closeups. A new television show about the residents and caretakers at the animal-themed park in Florida is being produced by National Geographic and will start streaming this fall on the Disney+, Disney officials said in a […]

Disney Slashes Ad Spending On Facebook Amid Growing Boycott

Walt Disney Co. has dramatically slashed its advertising spending on Facebook Inc., according to people familiar with the situation, the latest setback for the tech giant as it faces a boycott from companies upset with its handling of hate speech and divisive content.

FuboTV Signs Disney Distribution Pact

The fuboTV streaming service has finally nabbed ESPN for its sports-focused package offerings, while also retrieving a slew of Disney entertainment channels, including FX and NatGeo, after they were dropped following The Walt Disney Co.’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets last year.

Disney Pledges $5M To Social Justice Causes

Disney Gets Analyst Downgrade

Imperial’s David Miller cuts his rating to “underperform,” arguing stock gains have been “due simply to excitement around the prospects of the domestic theme parks re-opening.”

Disney, CBS Hit With ‘Criminal Minds’ Suit

Criminal Minds may be off the air now, but the Walt Disney Co., CBS and a Pretorian guard of executives from the long running series are now looking down the barrel of a sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

NBA Talking About Resuming Season In Orlando

The National Basketball Association is having what it terms “exploratory conversations” with the Walt Disney Co. about resuming its postponed season. The league issued a statement Saturday on its Twitter account. If the talks bear fruit, the season would resume in late July at Disney’s ESPN complex in Orlando, Fla., as a “single site for an NBA campus for games, practices, and housing,” the statement said.

Disney Taps Campbell To Head Streaming

Rebecca Campbell, whose promotion to Disney’s chairman of Direct-to-Consumer & International on Monday put her in charge of Disney+, Hulu, Hotstar and ESPN+, took a less-traveled road the to the C-suite. During the bulk of her 23 years at the company, Campbell focused on local broadcasting, running individual stations and the ABC Owned Television Stations Group, which has stations in New York, Los Angeles and six other markets.

Disney Raises $11 Billion In New Debt

The Walt Disney Co. has raised nearly $11 billion in a new debt offering as it continues to deal with the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on its worldwide businesses.

EARNINGS CALL

ABC Ad Rev Rose Ahead Of Virus Impact

In Disney’s fiscal second quarter, broadcasting revenues increased 49% to $2.8 billion, largely due to the consolidation of assets acquired from 21st Century Fox, but also due to gains at the legacy broadcasting operations. In addition to the previously mentioned ad sales gain, ABC also benefitted from higher affiliate revenue (retrans for the O&O stations and network reverse-comp). But things are much more complicated in this current quarter.

QUARTERLY REPORT

Disney Takes A Hit From COVID-19

Disney managed to muscle out a fiscal second quarter with total revenue of $18 billion edging Wall Street estimates, but adjusted earnings per share fell far short of the bar, showing the toll of COVID-19. Adjusting for items, earnings came in at 60 cents a share. Analysts had been expecting 88 cents a share and revenue of $17.81 billion, according to Refinitiv. Disney has been among the hardest-hit entertainment companies during the pandemic.

For Disney, A Stricken Empire

The entertainment conglomerate’s vastness, once its strength, has posed a challenge during the pandemic.

Disney Heir Criticizes Company Over $1.5B Bonuses As It Cuts Pay

Disney CEO Bob Chapek Elected To Company’s Board

Disney Sets New $5 Billion Credit Agreement

In a filing Monday with the SEC, Disney said that it had signed a new 364-day revolving credit agreement with Citibank that would provide access to as much as $5 billion. The agreement, which matures on April 9, 2021, can be extended for an additional year with the lenders’ consent.

Disney World Furloughing 43,000 More Workers Due To Virus

Theme park workers will be able to keep their medical, dental and life insurance benefits for the length of the furlough period, or up to a year. Seniority and wage rates will remain unchanged for the workers whose furloughs start April 19

Bob Iger Is Fighting For Disney’s Life

The former CEO thought he was riding into the sunset. Now he’s reasserting control and reimagining Disney as a company with fewer employees and more thermometers.

Disney+ Subscriptions Pass 50 Million

Disney announced on Wednesday that Disney Plus, its new video service, now has more than 50 million subscribers. That’s almost twice as many as Disney reported on Feb. 4, when it said in its 1Q earnings that Disney+ reached 26.5 million subs during the quarter. Shares of Disney jumped as much as 7% on the news in after-hours trading.

Bob Iger To Forgo Disney Salary, Execs Take Pay Cuts

The Walt Disney Co. said on Monday that executive chairman Robert Iger will forgo his entire salary and recently named CEO Bob Chapek will take a 50% pay cut amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to an email from Chapek sent to employees obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.

Disney’s Credit Rating Revised Over Virus

Fitch Ratings has put The Walt Disney Co. on credit watch, with a negative outlook, over concerns about how the Hollywood studio will weather the coronavirus outbreak in the near term.

Disney Shares Coronavirus Ad Strategy

Mmedia companies have begun to formulate their short-term ad sales strategies, with Disney becoming the first to publicly share its plans. They include pointing its live sports advertisers to other programming in its portfolio, including Good Morning America and its Freeform original series.

Disney Wants To Sell TrueX

Walt Disney is looking to sell TrueX, an advertising-technology company it absorbed as part of its $71.3 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets last year, according to people familiar with the matter.

Disney Shareholders Push Back Against Exec Pay

A large minority of Walt Disney Co. shareholders who cast votes at the company’s annual meeting on Wednesday opposed the company’s executive pay plan, Disney said. Disney said 46% of votes were cast against the plan and 53% in favor of the plan, with 1% abstaining. The vote is advisory and non-binding.

Fox, Others Pull Out Of Media Conference

Fox Corp. said it will be skipping the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference where Lachlan Murdoch was scheduled to present Wednesday. It said the decision “was made out of an abundance of caution due to evolving public health concerns regarding COVID-19.” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and CFO David Wehne, who were going to present today, were also no-shows. Disney executive chairman and until recently CEO Bob Iger was also slated for today but Disney canceled.

How Disney Veteran Bob Chapek Emerged From Dark-Horse Status To Take CEO Job

How Bob Iger Grew Disney Into A Goliath

After transforming ABC, Disney’s outgoing CEO made four big acquisitions that changed the company forever.

What You Need To Know About Iger And Successor Chapek

Bob Iger transformed Disney during his 15-year tenure as CEO; now he’s handing the reins to Bob Chapek, who led the company’s parks division for nearly five years.

Disney Downplays Surprise, Timing Of Chapek Succeeding Iger

At Disney, Iger Steps Down, Chapek Steps Up

In a surprise announcement Tuesday afternoon, Walt Disney Co. said longtime CEO Bob Iger was stepping down immediately, to be succeeded by Bob Chapek, most recently chairman of Disney’s parks, experiences and products business. Iger will remain executive chairman through the end of his contract on Dec. 31, 2021. Besides leading the board, Iger said he will spend more time on Disney’s creative endeavors.

Questions Remain For Disney Plus, Hulu Amid Iger-Chapek Transition

Disney Names Bob Chapek CEO

The Walt Disney Co. announced Tuesday that the longtime head of its theme park division would become the company’s new CEO, effective immediately. Bob Chapek, a 27-year veteran of Disney, will take over from Robert Iger, who will become the company’s executive chairman and will continue to oversee what the company’s announcement called its “creative endeavors.”

Coronavirus Fears Hit Media Stocks

Media stocks and all major U.S. stock market indices were slammed Monday morning as coronavirus concerns heightened. Walt Disney was down 3.8% to $133.71, while ViacomCBS lost 4% to $27.13 and Sinclair Broadcast Group fell 5% to $27.47. In digital media, Google gave up 3.7% to $1,430, while Facebook was off 3.6% to $202.64, Amazon was down 3.5% to $2,022, Netflix sank 3.4% to $367.48, Apple was off 3% to $303.53, and Roku went backwards 3.6% to $115.09.