The deal gives BSkyB exclusive rights to Disney‘s new and classic titles and includes the creation of pay-TV channel Sky Movies Disney, which beings airing March 28, Bloomberg reports. Under the agreement, BSkyB will have first-run rights to the newest Disney films including Brave, Tinker Bell: Secret Of The Wings and Wreck-It Ralph. Older Disney films, including Finding Nemo, Cars and A Bug’s Life, also will be available on the channels. The deal also gives BSkyB first-run rights to show movies from Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios, such as Iron Man 3 and The Avengers across other Sky channels. BSkyB is about 40 percent owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
UPDATED: More media giants are stepping up to aid in the recovery efforts following devastating Hurricane Sandy. Disney announced today it is committing $2 million to the American Red Cross and other organizations working on rebuilding efforts. Viacom also is making $1 million donation. The company says it will donate $500,000 to the Mayor’s Fund for NYC and $500,000 to local organizations for relief and rebuilding efforts in Connecticut, Long Island, New Jersey and Westchester County. Viacom also has set up a $1 million employee matching gift program with The American Red Cross. Disney also says it will match employee contributions dollar for dollar. Time Additionally, Time Warner Cable is donating $600,000 and is dispatching vehicles with mobile charging stations and free Wi-Fi access throughout New York City. TWC retail stores in Staten Island and Queens will allow anyone to recharge their devices. Yesterday, News Corp announced a $1 million donation, with $500,000 going to the Mayor’s Fund and the rest to support relief efforts in New Jersey.
In what is being hailed as a groundbreaking deal and the most comprehensive carriage agreement ever, the Walt Disney Co has signed a long-term pact with Comcast for its entire portfolio of TV networks, including ABC and ESPN. The arrangement covers a total of 70 networks/services that will be delivered to more than 20 million subscribers. The deal stems from the Disney-Comcast talks on entertainment cable networks ABC Family, Disney Channel, Disney XD and SoapNet/Disney Jr, whose carriage agreement was up at the end of 2011. The negotiations gradually expanded to include all Disney TV outlets. Comcast’s existing deals for ABC and ESPN were to come up within the next two years. The two sides would not elaborate on the exact length of the deal but note that it will stretch “into the next decade,” meaning that it is for at least eight years. Also unclear is the price tag, but sources close to the negotiations said that Disney brass are “very pleased” with the outcome and that the company has been able to land healthy fee increases for its cable networks and retransmission money for its O&O stations that carry ABC. The deal, which will give Comcast access to Walt Disney’s TV content on an array of platforms, is the biggest carriage agreement with a direct NBCUniversal TV competitor that Comcast has signed following its acquisition of the entertainment company a year ago. Comcast and Disney signed a similar long-term wide-reaching distribution deal for all Disney networks in 2006. As part of that deal, Comcast, which made a bid to acquire Disney in 2004, bought Disney’s 39.5% stake in E! Networks to become the channels’ sole owner. Here is the joint Disney-Comcast release, which outlines details about services included in the pact:
Disney Sets Succession: Board Re-Ups CEO Bob Iger Through 2016 And Adds Chairman Title In 2012; New CEO To Be Named In 2015
BURBANK, Calif. – The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) Board of Directors announced today it has agreed to extend Robert A. Iger’s contract through June 2016 as part of the Company’s ongoing succession planning. Under the new agreement, effective Oct. 1, Iger will assume the role of chairman in addition to chief executive officer following Chairman John E. Pepper’s retirement from the board at Disney’s 2012 annual shareholder meeting in March. Until then, Iger will remain president and chief executive officer.
Iger will hold the positions of chairman and chief executive officer through March 31, 2015, at which time a new CEO would be named; Iger will thereafter serve as executive chairman for 15 months through June 30, 2016. Iger’s current contract was set to expire on Jan. 31, 2013.
The Disney board took action at this time to secure the benefit of Iger’s leadership through 2016, provide for an effective, seamless succession and management transition and a continuity of the company’s corporate strategy to create long-term value for shareholders.
As provided in the company’s corporate governance guidelines, the board will also select an independent lead director when Iger assumes the role of Chair immediately following the meeting in March.
UPDATE, 12:00 PM: NBC says it paid $4.38 billion for the four Olympics matches. But the network won because NBC’s track record with the games “speaks for itself” and the company “has a clear and innovative vision of where it wants to take the broadcast of the Games between now and 2020,” International Olympics Committee President Jacques Rogge says. Investors initially appear to be satisfied with the price that Comcast authorized NBC to pay. Even if the network loses money “we continue to see the Olympics as less of a financial decision and more of a strategic and branding initiative” for NBC, Wells Fargo Securities analyst Marci Ryvicker says. Comcast expects the Olympics to help stabilize NBC, which the cable company has vowed to revive. In addition. Comcast plans to use the games to beef up its cable networks Versus and The Golf Channel.
PREVIOUS, 10:00 AM: Deadline has now confirmed that NBC has retained the U.S. Olympic television rights in a 4-games deal through 2020. The AP was first to report the news out of Lausanne where the International Olympics Committee is meeting and puts the bidding number at ”worth more than $4 billion” — which is $1 billion less than expected. The decision has not yet been officially announced by the International Olympic Committee, but NBC is acknowledging it won a 3-way bidding contest against ESPN and Fox. It will have exclusive rights to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, as well as the 2018 Winter Games and 2020 Olympics, whose sites have not yet been chosen. NBC has broadcast every Summer Olympics since 1988 and every Winter Games since 2002.
Executives from NBC, ESPN and Fox submitted sealed envelopes into a see-through plexiglass box, then left the building to let IOC officials open them and consider the offers in private for the first U.S. rights auction for the Olympics since 2003. All three networks kept emphasizing in their presentations that the Olympics would be presented live, something which NBC has come under fire for because of all the tape-delaying of the games to air during primetime in recent years. Here’s hoping that NBC changes its ways without Dick Ebersol at the helm. That said, the NBC win is going to help Comcast’s long-range plans to make its sports network into a juggernaut able to challenge both ESPN and Fox Sports.
NBC’s presentation to the IOC included new Comcast owners Steve Burke and Brian Roberts. Missing, of course, was longtime NBC sports czar Dick Ebersol who resigned last month after butting heads with Comcast. But the 17-member NBC delegation included mainstay Olympics host Bob Costas. ”My message was we’ve done it well and we’d like to do it again,” he said from Lausanne.
Disney lost its bid for a preliminary injunction against Dish Network today, with a New York District Court judge denying a motion that would have stopped the satellite company from offering a promotion for free access to Starz movie channels that include Disney films. Disney filed the request last month, saying the giveaway — to celebrate Dish’s 30th anniversary — limits the value of its movies and is copyright infringement. Starz also has filed suit against Dish in the matter.