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Walt Disney – Business Description

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Walt Disney is a US-based company. It owns media networks as well as parks and resorts. It also makes movies and markets consumer products. The company has operations in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

The company’s business is divided into four business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, and consumer products.

The media networks segment owns television, radio and cable properties in the US and other countries. This segment includes domestic broadcast television network, television production and distribution operations, domestic television stations, cable/satellite networks, domestic broadcast radio networks and stations, and internet and mobile operations.

Domestic broadcast television network comprises the ABC Television Network.This network has 231 affiliated stations operating under agreements and reaches 99% of all US television households. The ABC Television Network derives substantially all of its revenues from the sale to advertisers of time in network programs for commercial announcements.

Through the operations of the television production and distribution sub segment, the media networks division develops and produces television programming for distribution to global broadcasters and cable and satellite operators, including major television networks, Disney Channel and other cable and satellite networks, under the Buena Vista Television, Buena Vista Productions, Touchstone Television and Walt Disney Television labels. The company’s program development is focused on the development, production and distribution of half-hour comedies and one-hour dramas for network primetime broadcast.

The operations of domestic television stations include nine very high frequency (VHF) television stations, six of which are located in the top ten markets in the US and one ultra high frequency (UHF) television station. All of the company’s television stations are affiliated with the ABC Television Network and transmit both analog and digital signals. Collectively, these stations reach 24% of television households in the US.

The company’s cable/satellite networks are engaged in broadcasting of television programming, licensing of television programming to domestic and international markets and investing in foreign television broadcasting, programming, production and distribution entities.The primary cable/satellite programming services of the company include ESPN, the Disney Channel, Toon Disney, SOAPnet, ABC Family, JETIX, A&E Television Network, Lifetime Entertainment Services and E! Entertainment Television.

The company has various other international investments in broadcast and cable properties, such as ESPN, Disney Channel, International Disney Channels, Toon Disney, The History Channel, Lifetime Real Women and Jetix Latin America. The Internet and mobile operations of the Media

Networks segment develop, publish and distribute content for online and wireless services. Internet Websites and products include ABC.com, ABCNews.com, Disney.com, Disney Online, ABCFamily.com, SOAPnet.com, ESPN.com, Disney’s Club Penguin and Disney Mobile Studios. In June 2007, the spun-off of its wholly owned subsidiary, ABC Radio Holdings, which was then merged into a subsidiary of Citadel Broadcasting Corporation.

The internet and mobile operations of the media networks segment develop, publish and distribute content for online and wireless services. Internet websites and products include ABC.com, ABCNEWS.com, Disney.com, ESPN.com and Enhanced TV.The company’s internet operations derive revenues from a combination of advertising and sponsorships, subscription services and e-commerce. Disney Online also offers broadband services, including Disney Connection and Disney’s Toontown Online, and Disney Mobile Studios produces and publishes mobile content which is distributed through mobile carriers and content distributors worldwide. The company also offers Disney Mobile, a mobile phone service for parents and children, and Mobile ESPN, a national US wireless phone service.

Through the parks and resorts segment, the company owns and operates the Walt Disney World Resort and Disney Cruise Line in Florida, the Disneyland Resort in California and ESPN Zone facilities in several states.The company manages and owns a stake of 51% and 43%, respectively, in the Disneyland Resort Paris in France and Hong Kong Disneyland. The company also licenses the operations of the Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan. The company’s Walt Disney Imagineering unit designs and develops new theme park concepts and attractions as well as resort properties.

The studio entertainment segment produces and acquires live-action and animated motion pictures, animated direct-to-video programming, musical recordings and live stage plays. The company distributes produced and acquired films (including its film and television library) in the theatrical, home entertainment and television markets.

In theatrical market, the company’s subsidiary Walt Disney Pictures and Television produces and acquires live-action motion pictures that are distributed primarily under the Walt Disney Pictures and Touchstone Pictures banners. Another subsidiary, Miramax Film, acquires and produces motion pictures that are distributed under the Miramax banner.The company also produces and distributes animated motion pictures under the banner Walt Disney Pictures, and co-finances and distributes animated motion pictures developed in conjunction with Pixar. In 2006, the company acquired Pixar in an all-stock transaction and converted into a wholly owned subsidiary. Now the company produces feature animation films under both the Disney and Pixar banners.

In the home entertainment market, the company distributes home entertainment releases under each of its motion picture banners. In the international market, the company distributes home entertainment releases under each of its motion picture banners both directly and through independent foreign distribution companies. In addition, the company develops, acquires and produces original programming for direct-to-video release.

In the television market, the company distributes its television releases under each of its motion picture banners in the pay per view, pay television, free television, pay television 2, and international television sub categories. The company’s Disney Music Group includes Walt Disney Records, Hollywood Records (including the Mammoth Records and Buena Vista Records labels), Lyric Street Records, Buena Vista Concerts and Disney Music Publishing. Its Disney Theatrical Group includes both Disney Theatrical Productions and Disney Live Family Entertainment. It also includes Pixer, which produces feature animation films under both the Disney and Pixar banners

The consumer products segment partners with licensees, manufacturers, publishers and retailers to design, promote and sell products based on existing and new Disney characters and other intellectual property. In addition to leveraging the company’s film and television properties, the consumer products segment develops new intellectual property within its publishing and interactive gaming divisions.This segment includes character merchandising and publications licensing, books and magazines, Disney Interactive Studios (Formerly Buena Vista Games), DisneyShopping.com and The Disney Store.

As part of the character merchandising and distribution licensing sub segment, the company’s worldwide merchandise licensing operations are divided among four lines of business: Disney Hardlines, which includes product categories such as consumer electronics, stationery, food and personal care products; Disney Softlines, which includes apparel, accessories and footwear; Disney Toys; and Disney Home, which includes product categories such as furnishings, decor and accessories.

Under the books and magazines sub segment, Disney Publishing licenses books, magazines and continuity programs. The company licenses characters from its film, television and other properties. The company also publishes children’s books and magazines in multiple countries and languages, reaching more than 100 million readers each month. Disney publishes both Disney branded and non-Disney branded titles through its US children’s book group (which includes Hyperion and Disney Press), Disney Libri in Italy, and Disney Hachette JV in France.

Disney Interactive Studios sub segment creates, develops, markets and distributes multi-platform video games worldwide. BVG primarily focuses on multi-platform games derived from the company’s creative content, such as Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Spectrobes and Meet The Robinsons. DisneyShopping.com offers Disney-themed merchandise through an internet site, which includes internally developed Disney merchandise as well as merchandise from Disney licensees.

Through The Disney Store, the company markets Disney-themed products directly through retail facilities. These facilities are generally located in leading shopping malls and other retail complexes. The stores carry a wide variety of Disney merchandise and promote other businesses of the company. The Disney store is owned and operated in Europe and is franchised in North America and Japan.