DOJ May Let Disney Spin Off Fox RSNs

The Department of Justice is prepared to put the ball back in Disney’s court for unloading Fox’s regional sports networks, saving Disney from a fire sale and billions of dollars in losses, two sources with direct knowledge of the situation said. Justice is poised to allow Disney to spin off the control of Fox’s 22 regional sports networks to complete its $71 billion deal for Fox, one of the sources said, as opposed to finding an actual buyer.

Disney’s Iger Collects Record Payday

Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger missed his shot at a $60 million bonus but still got his largest-ever compensation package thanks to special awards issued in connection with his contract extension. Iger was awarded $65.6 million for 2018, including an $18 million cash incentive and $43.6 million in restricted stock and options.

New Fox Won’t Bid For Disney RSNs

New Fox, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox, on Friday said it has no plans to bid for the 22 Fox regional sports networks that regulators have said Walt Disney must divest as part of its acquisition of large parts of 21st Century Fox.

Joe Earley Named Disney+ Marketing Chief

Veteran TV executive Joe Earley has been named head of marketing for Disney’s new subscription streaming service. Earley will serve as executive vice president, marketing ad operations for Disney+.

RETRANS

Disney, Verizon Reach New FiOS Carriage Deal

The contract replaces one that expires Monday and comes following Verizon warning its customers last week that they were in danger of losing Disney-owned properties on the service. Disney also ran ads warning of the possible blackout. News of the new agreement did not offer specifics.

RETRANS

Disney Warns FiOS Customers Of Blackout

‘Tis the season for cable carriage fights, with Dec. 31 a common expiration date for major deals, and the latest battle is brewing between Disney and Verizon FiOS. The media company has started airing ads aimed at the 4.5 million subscribers to FiOS. The spots carry the message “don’t lose your shows.”

Netflix Vs. Disney Likely To Escalate In 2019

ABC exec Channing Dungey’s move to the streamer signals a new front in Reed Hastings’ battle with Bob Iger in the run-up to the Mouse House digital competitor’s debut next year.

Disney Plans To Split Up Fox RSNs

Disney’s auction of Fox’s chain of local sports TV networks has proven to be such a complicated process that the Mouse House has decided to offer up the networks piecemeal.

Disney And Google In Digital Ad Deal

Disney’s Direct-To-Consumer & International unit has reached a deal with Google for advertising technology in a bid to increase revenue across its vast digital footprint.

Malaysian Resprt Company Sues Disney, Fox Over Theme Park

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Resort developer Genting Malaysia has filed a lawsuit in California seeking at least $1 billion in damages from Walt Disney Co. and Fox Entertainment Group for alleged breach of contract related to a theme park, the company said Tuesday. The lawsuit filed Monday in the Central California District Court cites […]

Amazon Bids For Disney’s 22 RSNs

Bidding has begun for the 22 regional sports TV networks Disney acquired from 21st Century Fox. Amazon is bidding for all of the networks, including the YES Network, sources familiar with the matter said. In addition to Amazon, Apollo Global Management, KKR & Co, The Blackstone Group, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tegna also made first round bids for the full slate of networks, the sources said.

Disney Wins Chinese Approval For Fox Deal

Analysts had worried that China might use Disney’s $71.3 billion deal to buy most of 21st Century Fox as a weapon in a trade war with the United States.

How Will Disney Manage 2 Streaming Services?

When Disney finally closes its deal to acquire 21st Century Fox’s film and TV assets early next year, the company will gain — among many things — ownership of Hulu, which has never before had just one company hold a controlling stake. But with Disney also readying the launch of its own Disney-branded streaming service next year, it will now have ownership of two competing streaming services, which begs the question: How will Disney be able to launch Disney+ while allowing Hulu to continue to grow?

Disney, Warner To Be Streaming Winners

Veteran media and tech executive Michael J. Wolf predicts that established media brands — including The Walt Disney Co. and WarnerMedia — will be among the handful of winners in the emerging direct-to-consumer world.

Disney Finally Names Streaming Service

Disney has finally given a name to its upcoming streaming service. It’s Disney+, but there’s still no word on the launch date or price for the OTT platform.

Disney Takes $157M Write-Down On Vice

The Walt Disney Co. took a $157 million write-down on its investment in Vice Media, the millennial-focused media company that is undergoing a restructuring. Disney invested a total of $400 million in Vice three years ago.

QUARTERLY REPORT

Disney Beats Revenue, Earnings Forecasts

The Walt Disney Co. beat Wall Street’s earnings and revenue forecasts for its fourth quarter. Net income for the quarter ended Sept. 29 rose 33% to $2.32 billion, or $1.55 per share, from $1.75 billion, or $1.14 per share last year. Excluding one-time items, net income totaled $1.48 per share.

Murdoch Mulls Buying Back RSNs From Disney

21st Century Fox Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch said Thursday it is still an “open question” whether the company will buy back the regional sports networks it sold to entertainment company Walt Disney Co. in July as part of a $71 billion deal.

‘New Fox,’ Ice Cube Looking At Sports Nets

The Wall Street Journal reports that big media companies, sports teams, private-equity firms and rapper Ice Cube are among those kicking the tires of nearly two dozen regional sports networks that Disney is divesting as part of its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox assets. “There’s never been an instance where a large group of these [regional sports networks] have been sold all at once,” said sports-media consultant Lee Berke. Initial bids on the channels are due Nov. 8.  Journal subscribers can read the full story here.

New Fox Could Get Disney Deal On Fox RSNs

The front-runner to buy 22 regional sports TV networks from Disney is the same company that sold them in the first place. “New Fox,” the company that will remain after Rupert Murdoch sells $71.3 billion worth of 21st Century Fox assets to Disney, is the leading contender to buy back the RSNs it “sold” to Disney as part of the larger transaction, according to people familiar with the matter.

Bid Book Out For Fox RSN Sale

Disney’s sales process for Fox’ 22 RSNs took a big step forward last week when the company sent the official bid book to prospective bidders, according to several sources. Said to be more than 150 pages, the book was sent to networks, digital companies, distributors and investment banks who agreed to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Allen & Co. and JP Morgan Chase are handling the sale for Disney, sources said.

ACA: DOJ Must Narrow Disney’s Fox RSN Spinoffs

The American Cable Association has a problem with how the Justice Department resolved its antitrust issues with Disney’s purchase of Twenty-First Century Fox assets, including, at least temporarily, its 20 regional sports networks, Prime Ticket and the YES network.

Disney Offers EU Concessions Over Fox Deal

Walt Disney has offered concessions in an attempt to allay EU antitrust concerns over its $71.3 billion bid for 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets, the European Commission said on Monday. Disney submitted its proposal on Friday, according to a filing on the EU competition enforcer’s website which however did not provide details.

Disney Names ESPN’s LaBerge Consumer CTO

ESPN’s Aaron LaBerge will be executive vice president and chief technology officer of Disney’s international and direct-to-consumer segment.

Walmart, AT&T, Disney Join Streaming Fray

Over the past week, Walmart announced plans to partner with MGM Studios on original shows for Walmart’s video-on-demand service, Vudu, while AT&T’s WarnerMedia said it would create its own streaming service centered on HBO and Turner properties. Disney, meanwhile, is buying Fox’s entertainment businesses to beef up its planned streaming service , set to debut next year.

Peter Rice Getting More Say Over What You Watch

Peter Rice, the president of 21st Century Fox, will leave Rupert Murdoch’s empire after three decades to take charge of the Walt Disney Company’s TV division. Although he will become arguably the most powerful executive in the industry — he will oversee a broadcast network, a collection of cable channels and an enormous studio — his understated demeanor is unlikely to change.

Bob Iger Is Still Not Running For President

Bob Iger shared the stage with presidential historian Doris Keans Goodwin at Tuesday’s Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit, but he didn’t want people to read into it. “I happen to be speaking with a presidential historian, but it’s just a coincidence,” he told the crowd. “I am not doing that. It’s off the table. I am running the Walt Disney Co.” Questions of a possible presidential run in 2020 have followed the Disney CEO for some time.

Disney-Fox Deal Leaves Fox Execs Up In Air

Disney’s $71.3 million deal to acquire key Fox Television Group assets leaves top FTG executives in no man’s land. The list includes FTG Chief Marketing Officer Shannon Ryan, EVP Casting Sharon Klein, CFO Robert Barronand and SVP Brand Management & New Media Strategy Michael Gooch.

Four Fox Execs Set To Join Disney

Top 21st Century Fox television executives Peter Rice, Dana Walden, John Landgraf and Gary E. Knell are officially headed to the Magic Kingdom. The Walt Disney Co. announced that Rice and Walden will come aboard to lead the conglomerate’s non-sports television operations. Rice has been named chairman, Walt Disney Television and co-chair, Disney Media Networks. Walden has been named chairman, Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment Landgraf will serve as Chairman of FX Networks and FX Productions. Knell will serve as chairman of National Geographic Partners.

Iger’s Bets Paying Off Big Time For Disney

So far in 2018, Disney has released the top three U.S. box-office hits. And Disney CEO Bob Iger has topped his own bigger-is-better strategy with a $71 billion deal to buy 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets, bringing into the fold everything from Avatar to The Simpsons. Now the studio that began in the back of a real estate office by selling its first cartoon to one distributor in 1923 is poised to launch its own streaming service. By eliminating the middlemen and selling content directly to consumers, Disney will disrupt the disrupters.

Disney Restructures Ad Sales Unit

Disney’s reconstituted advertising sales unit has set details, priorities and the top executive team for its approach to capturing brand dollars in a fast-moving media environment.

Sherwood To Leave Disney After Fox Acquistion

We are about a week or so away from Disney unveiling the names of top 21st Century Fox executives who would be joining the company following the acquisition of key Fox assets. Disney-ABC TV Group Ben Sherwood is not expected to continue in the combined company.

Disney, Comcast Could Be Forced Into Sky Auction

If neither suitor gives up before Sept. 22, U.K. regulators could take the rare step of setting up an auction that will determine which U.S. media heavyweight ends up controlling the coveted broadcaster.

Fox General Counsel Leaving After Disney Deal Closes

Tech, Media Find New Home In Sector Overhaul

Alphabet, Facebook, Netflix and others will be in focus on Sept. 24 when they are moved out of the tech and consumer discretionary sectors into a deepened pool of communication and media stocks. In the largest-ever shakeup of the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS), the telecommunication services sector will be renamed “communication services” and include 18 companies pulled from consumer discretionary and technology, including Netflix, Walt Disney Co. and Twitter.

Disney Unifies ABC, ESPN Ad Sales Under Rita Ferro

The Walt Disney Co. is consolidating its advertising sales operations under Rita Ferro, who has been head of sale for the Disney/ABC Television Group. Ed Erhardt, the head of ad sales for ESPN for the past 20 years, is retiring in January.

Disney Considering News Role For Sherwood

Walt Disney Co. has discussed reorganizing its news operations under the leadership of Ben Sherwood, its most senior television executive and the former head of its news division, according to people familiar with the matter. Sherwood, who currently runs ABC, Freeform and Disney Channel, would become the head of worldwide news and nonfiction content at the company under one scenario that’s been discussed, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.

Fight For Fox RSNs Could Shake Up TV

Walt Disney Co.’s Bob Iger may not have planned it, but his $71.3 billion deal for 21st Century Fox Inc.’s entertainment assets could be about to reshape sports and regional broadcasting in the U.S.

Iger: Talks Underway To Sell Fox RSNs

CEO Bob Iger says that Disney won’t have any trouble finding a buyer for the Fox sports channels. “The RSNs will be sold, and the process of selling them is actually already beginning. Conversations are starting, interest is being expressed. And it’s likely that we’ll negotiate a deal to sell them but the deal will not be fully executed or close until after the overall deal for 21st Century Fox closes.”

EARNINGS CALL

Disney: New Streamer Won’t Rival Netflix

With Comcast out of the bidding war, Disney is planning to move forward with its $71.3 billion purchase of Fox’s entertainment assets, in part to boost a Disney-branded streaming service set to launch in late 2019. Disney is building the streaming service as more people switch from traditional cable TV bundles to streaming online though services like Amazon and Netflix.