DIS Investors Day: ESPN-Verizon Confirmed; Enhancing ABC.com


Listening to the webcast of the Disney investors meeting today has been almost like being there — if you ignore the silent gaps when people on site are seeing/hearing video presentations (so how is the new Aerosmith opener for NASCAR?) and the lack of the steady supply of snacks I imagine are being served there. (They’re going to Pleasure Island for lunch now; I’m going to the freezer.) On the other hand, I had access to a shower this morning, unlike some of the folks there at a hotel with a water main break. Seriously, unlike some meetings in the past where subjects like corporate succession took center stage, Disney CEO Bob Iger and CFO Tom Staggs (who is really more like a COO in other companies) are presiding over an upbeat meeting with a good story to tell and they’re determined to tell it even if it takes all day. Iger is slated to take questions near the end.
Among the announcements streaming out of Disney’s biannual investors’ meeting in Orlando:
ESPN: Confirmation of ESPN’s multi-year deal to license the Mobile ESPN app exclusively to Verizon and of the upcoming ESPN Mobile TV, which will debut on Verizon as part of Qualcomm’s MediaFlo.
ABC.com: Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney-ABC Television Group, announced some enhancements for ABC.com. The broadband player will add two new sizes: full screen and mini player. On the ad side, a new “pause ad” will pop up a static ad from the featured sponsor whenever a user pauses the video.
— On the content side, the player will be expanded to include news and local content; geo-targeting will be used to match local content and local ads with viewers. As of now, Sweeney said, ABC affiliates covering 80 percent of the country — that includes the ABC o-and-o’s and all major affiliate groups — have either launched the player or are committed to doing so.
Over 50 million episodes have been “initiated” by customers; this is the safest stat since actual viewership is hard to determine.
— Based on a survey by Frank N. Magid & Associates late last year, 77 percent of users are catching up on missed episodes and usually are logging on within 24 hours of the episode’s air date. Users watch from home: 57 percent on desktops, 43 percent, laptops.
User-gen: People will be able to upload their own entries in America’s Funniest Home Videos, the grandfather of user-gen video. The expanded site will include a library of past clips.
Update: Those of us who are offsite are now getting constant repeats of “Under the Sea” whenever the folks in Orlando see something nifty like an unreleased trailer or a preview from the studio presentation. You’d think they could play Radio Disney or find some other way to take advantage of the offline audience.

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