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

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Disney - Minnie Mouse

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Disney - Piglet

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Disney - Tigger

 

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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‘Disney Movies Anywhere’ to Replace ‘Disney Studio All Access’

Disney Movies AnywhereThough it has yet to show any sign of life beyond advertisements which began a year ago at the Disney D23 Expo and subsequent home video releases, it appears the Disney Studio All Access program is still alive and kicking behind-the-scenes only now it will be known as ‘Disney Movies Anywhere.’

Not surprisingly, Disney (NYSE:DIS) has been tight-lipped on the program, which allows customers to buy a Disney title once and then play it back across all devices from anywhere. There has been nary a mention since Robert Iger stated Disney is maintaining a ‘wait and see’ attitude in response to the launch of its main competition, UltraViolet, which has been falling way short of wowing its customers thus far.

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Disney Parks Seeking New Management for Walt Disney World Spas

It appears that after decades of providing spa services to guests of the Walt Disney World Resort, the ‘Vacation Kingdom’ may be preparing to part ways with Niki Bryan Spas and go with a partner it may find more agreeable — itself. Thanks to a tipster, we’ve learned that Walt Disney World has begun listing senior-level positions on its job site for titles such as ‘Spa Director,’ ‘Senior Spa Manager,’ and ‘Spa Guest Service Manager,’ suggesting the company is looking to manage the resort spas from the inside, as they are currently doing with Laniwai at Disney’s Aulani in Hawaii.

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VIDEO: Face Cloning for Audio Animatronics Demo by Disney Research

Face Cloning for Audio Animatronics by Disney Research

 

After presenting its technique for cloning the human face in an effort to produce more realistic audio animatronics at SIGGRAPH, Disney Research Zurich has released this video which takes a closer look at the process, which we began discussing on here last month.

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