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Disney adds ESPN, ABC Sports content to iTunes

post #1 of 14
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In an effort to leverage its creative content, Walt Disney Company announced on Tuesday that it has added a slew of new programming to Apple's iTunes Music Store, including content from ESPN and ABC Sports.

In addition to content from the two major sports networks, the entertainment giant said it will also offer new programming from ABC Entertainment and Touchstone Television, ABC Family, ABC News, Buena Vista Television, Disney Channel, and SOAPnet, as well as content produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation.

ESPN and ABC Sports are the first to offer sports programming on the iTunes Music Store. Condensed versions of all four BCS Bowl Games from ABC Sports will be available on the iTunes Music Store -- including yesterday's Tostitos Fiesta Bowl and Nokia Sugar Bowl, which be available today. Today's Orange Bowl and tomorrow's Rose Bowl Presented by Citi (the national title game, matching USC against The University of Texas) will be available the day after they air.

Later this month, ESPN will make additional content available, including the Best Of The X Games; "SportsCentury" interviews from ESPN Classic's award-winning biography series; the popular "This is SportsCenter" commercials; and select ESPN Original Entertainment programs -- including "Knight School," the forthcoming reality program featuring Texas Tech basketball coach Bobby Knight, which will premiere on iTunes.

"Our mission is to serve fans wherever they are by delivering high-quality content across dozens of multi-media platforms, now including the iTunes Music Store and viewing on the iPod," said George Bodenheimer, ESPN and ABC Sports President and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks. "We are thrilled to be the first content provider to offer sports content on iTunes."

In addition to the ESPN and ABC Sports content, more programming from Disney ABC Television Group will also be available later this month on the iTunes Music Store, including such cable programming as ABC Family's original series "Wildfire," Disney Channel's popular animated series "Kim Possible" and "The Proud Family" and SOAPnet's original biography series "Soapography," as well as ABC Entertainment and Touchstone Television library product including "America's Funniest Home Videos" and the popular 1970's Saturday morning "School House Rock" vignettes and episodes of Buena Vista Television's "Ebert and Roeper."

Additionally, free, ad-supported video podcasts from ABC News will be available, including daily segments from "Good Morning America" and the "World News Tonight" webcast, as well as ABC News Now's "Money Minute," "Medical Minute" and "Buzz Cut."

"We look forward to building upon the success of our initial iTunes offerings and are dedicated to providing consumers with a variety of high quality entertainment and news content that they can view at their convenience, regardless of time, place or platform," said Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and President, Disney ABC Television Group. "We believe that making our content available on iTunes results in incremental viewing opportunities and also furthers awareness of our programs and brands."

Classic animated shorts produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and featured on Buena Vista Home Entertainment's upcoming "Disney at the Academy Awards," including the 1933 Academy Award-winning "The Three Little Pigs" and the 1935 Academy Award-winning "The Tortoise and the Hare," will also be available.

"Our animated product has always been the touchstone of The Walt Disney Company," stated Dick Cook, chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. "We are pleased that in addition to offering our classic animated shorts on DVD, we will now reach an even broader audience with programming on Apple's iTunes Music Store. It is certainly gratifying to know that consumers of all ages will get to experience first hand the remarkable and award-winning works from some of the most gifted animators in history."

All of the aforementioned content is available for purchase for $1.99 per episode. The new content joins other Disney ABC Television Group programming already on sale at the iTunes Music Store, including "Commander in Chief," "Desperate Housewives," "Lost," "That's So Raven" and "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody."
post #2 of 14
where is this new content? i cant find it
post #3 of 14
The press release doesn't make this as clear as it could, but the only new content available now is the bowl games.
Everything else is listed as being added to iTMS "later this month".
post #4 of 14
The Disney announcements certainly have the feel of getting out of the way of bigger content announcements next Tuesday.

What content announcements on Tuesday does anyone think would be considered major? The first few seasons of "Seinfeld"? "Friends"? Daily "Oprah" episodes? A season pass for one of the January-debut shows like "24" or "Scrubs"?

We know there's going to be some new TV shows, but Apple likes a big splash. All three "CSI" series and "Without a Trace"? Would that be big at this point or just next?

The Pixar films? Other movies?

The Beatles?
post #5 of 14
Still haven't heard anything from Fox. I thought they were considering jumping on board. It would be nice to see some Family Guy become available.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally posted by Porchland
A season pass for one of the January-debut shows like "24" or "Scrubs"?

Aren't Disney involved with Scrubs? I seem to remember their name being mentioned as to the lack of the DVD release.
Daniel Tull
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Daniel Tull
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post #7 of 14
I really want to see Nip/Tuck added to iTunes. I love that show. I don't have a TV right now, but I used to watch that almost every weekend.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally posted by danielctull
Aren't Disney involved with Scrubs? I seem to remember their name being mentioned as to the lack of the DVD release.

According to IMDB, "Scrubs" is produced by 20th Century Fox Television (Fox) and Touchstone Television (Disney).

Disney/ABC produces most of its own better-known shows ("Lost," "Desperate Housewives," "Commander in Chief," "Alias") through Touchstone and makes a few shows that are broadcast on other networks ("Criminal Minds" on CBS, the new "Courting Alex" on CBS, "Scrubs" on NBC). I would assume that Disney would control the digital distribution rights to "Scrubs," so hopefully that means it will be announced on Tuesday.

The branding of these shows is going to get very interesting. If you look at the shows that ABC and NBC have already made available on iTunes, the shows are all owned by Disney (ABC) and NBC Universal. When shows that are not produced by the networks that broadcast them start are available on iTunes -- like "ER" (made by Warner, broadcast on NBC) and "Scrubs" -- will the shows be marketed as network content or just as shows?

With iTunes as the new "network," there's not much reason for a viewer to care which network it was broadcast on. It's just a good show that's available online. According to the Disney announcement today, ESPN will apparently be premiering its Bobby Knight reality show on iTunes.

I hope independent producers latch onto the iTunes-premiere concept and pitch original programming to Apple.
post #9 of 14
Impressive jump in Apple's stock today...must be due solely to this announcement. I guess there's enough variety (with the inclusion of sports programming) to REALLY widen the user base of the vid iPod. Screw Motorola! Go Apple! I'm about to burst a major organ with all this excitement!

8) 8)

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally posted by SpamSandwich
Impressive jump in Apple's stock today...must be due solely to this announcement. I guess there's enough variety (with the inclusion of sports programming) to REALLY widen the user base of the vid iPod. Screw Motorola! Go Apple! I'm about to burst a major organ with all this excitement!

8) 8)

The market also went up a lot today. I'm not sure why. I must have missed something. But even stocks that are on the way down, such as Gateway, went up.

The only things I'm sure about is this announcement, and the announcement by Starz.

It's possible they could have had some affect.

I suspect that NBC will feel compelled to follow. And as far as I know CBS has been negotiating as well.
post #11 of 14
This could have had some impact. It takes the story further.

http://news.independent.co.uk/media/article336393.ece
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
This could have had some impact. It takes the story further.

http://news.independent.co.uk/media/article336393.ece

So maybe we'll seek video expanded to some of the international stores as soon as Tuesday? I LOVE the week before Macworld!
post #13 of 14
Sports? I would like access to Baseball games.
Why do so many Sys Admins hate the Mac? . A q u a M a c .
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Why do so many Sys Admins hate the Mac? . A q u a M a c .
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post #14 of 14
I guess I did miss one little thing yesterday. The Fed announced at their Dec. meeting that they wouldn't be raising interest rates on a regular basis from this time foward, as they aren't as worried about inflation.

This probably had some *minor* effect on the stock markets.
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