The Walt Disney Company Pledges $2 Million+ to Hurricane Sandy Relief

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The Walt Disney Company Commits $2 Million for Hurricane Sandy Relief and Rebuilding Efforts

BURBANK, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) announced today a $2 million cash commitment to the relief and rebuilding efforts for those severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy. One million dollars will be donated to the American Red Cross for immediate, critical assistance, and another $1 million will be designated for organizations working on rebuilding efforts. In addition, Cast Member and employee eligible donations to organizations involved in disaster relief will be matched, dollar for dollar, by Disney Employee Matching Gifts: A Program of The Walt Disney Company Foundation.

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Disney to Acquire Lucasfilm; ‘Star Wars Episode VII’ in 2015; Lucas Talks Retirement

Continuing its strategy of delivering exceptional creative content to audiences around the world, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. in a stock and cash transaction. Lucasfilm is 100% owned by Lucasfilm Chairman and Founder, George Lucas.

Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney stock on October 26, 2012, the transaction value is $4.05 billion, with Disney paying approximately half of the consideration in cash and issuing approximately 40 million shares at closing. The final consideration will be subject to customary post-closing balance sheet adjustments.

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Walt Disney Company Establishes New Paper Sourcing and Usage Policy

Disney today announced a new Paper Sourcing and Use Policy, establishing guidelines for paper used in Disney’s day-to-day business operations as well as its consumer products and packaging. The policy — effective immediately — continues Disney’s commitment to responsible forest practices and conservation, and will be implemented in two phases. The first phase will focus on paper sourced directly by Disney or on behalf of Disney for use in Disney-branded products and packaging, and the second will address paper sourced by the Company’s independent licensees.

The policy aims to:

  • Minimize the consumption of paper

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Cablevision to Add Disney’s WATCH Anywhere Service, ESPN 3D and ABC News/Univision

 

Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) and The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) today announced a comprehensive distribution agreement to deliver Disney’s robust lineup of top quality sports, news and entertainment content to Cablevision TV customers across television, internet, tablets and handheld devices. The new agreement enhances the multichannel business model and supports the companies’ mutual goal to deliver the best video content to customers across multiple platforms.

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REPORT: Disney Suffers Major Internet Outage Friday Morning

For more than half an hour earlier this morning, the internet arm of The Walt Disney Company suffered a major outage, affecting access to all of its internally run sites, across the board from ESPN to Disney Parks and Resorts to Disney Store and potentially much more.

Visitors attempting to reach the sites, most of which are actually subhosts off of Disney’s GO.COM, were greeted with delays while their browsers attempted to communicate with the websites which were unresponsive, eventually timing out. The only responding server appeared to be that of DisneyStore.com, but it would return just a line of text resembling an md5 hash.

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The Walt Disney Company Donates $1M to American Red Cross

American Red CrossAs part of National Preparedness Month this September, the American Red Cross today announced a $1 million grant from Disney (DIS:NYSE) to help kids and families prepare for disasters and other emergencies. Disney’s investment will support the Red Cross Pillowcase Preparedness Program as well as other youth services. Disney also developed an interstitial that will air throughout the month of September on Disney Channel, which highlights simple actions kids can take to prepare for emergencies.

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‘Disney Movies Anywhere’ Trademark Applications Filed

Disney Movies AnywhereLast month, we offered up evidence that Disney’s (NYSE:DIS) proprietary digital film access system, once known as Disney Studio All Access, had undergone a name change to now be known as ‘Disney Movies Anywhere.’ Although DISNEYMOVIESANYWHERE.COM ultimately goes to the DSAA preview site (via disneymoviesanywhere.disney.go.com) and the company has kindly removed the website pictured here (which was never at the aforementioned domain name ironically enough).

Despite making changes to hide the new name, however, the Walt Disney Company formally filed several trademark applications last week for ‘Disney Movies Anywhere’ for the following areas:

  • Online retail store services

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ESPN to Pledge $1M to Boys and Girls Club for New Center

ESPN announced today its pledge of a lead contribution of $1 million toward construction of a new Boys and Girls Club and Family Center, in addition to its $400,000 gift in 2009 for land acquisition. The announcement was made by ESPN Executive Chairman George Bodenheimer in commemoration of ESPN’s upcoming 33rd anniversary (Sept. 7).

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Disney’s Plans to Introduce Automatic Age and Gender Detection to Video Games

In an age where Kinect and PlayStation Eye/Move are encouraging less traditional interaction with video game consoles and cameras are a mainstay in virtual everything, let alone most mobile devices, one man at Disney Interactive sees video game systems moving even further from the path of the familiar and letting the console games make their own decisions based on — you guessed it — physical appearance.

Both ‘System and method for number of players determined using facial recognition’ (US Patent Application 20120214585) and ‘Gender and age based gameplay through face perception’ (US Patent Application 20120214584) list Phillippe Paquet as the sole inventor and offer to leverage existing technology in interesting ways.

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Disney Store to Donate 25,000 School Supply Kits to Boys & Girls Clubs of America

To celebrate back-to-school, Disney Store, in partnership with The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), will donate 25,000 school supply kits to children at Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). Full of classroom essentials, the Disney Princess and Cars themed supply kits include a folder, notebook, pencil case, pencils, ruler, eraser, sharpener, glue stick and a pair of scissors. Cast members from Disney Store locations across the country will deliver the supply kits to their local BGCA chapters. Through this donation, Disney hopes to add a little magic to the back-to-school experience as kids nationwide prepare to return to the classroom this fall.

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