Not even a year after Verizon FiOS began offering so-called “skinny” pay-TV bundles that don’t include the pricey ESPN in the required core package — and in the midst of a lawsuit filed by ESPN’s parent company Disney, alleging that Verizon is violating its contract by doing so — the telecom titan is now hinting that it’s the end times for this dream world where consumers weren’t forced to pay so much for a channel they care so little about. [More]
ESPN is, by far, the most expensive single channel on most cable customers’ basic cable bill, responsible for more than $5/month, with some industry analysts putting an approximately $8/month price tag on ESPN and ESPN 2 together. While it’s long been considered a basic cable must-have, millions of Americans have been dropping their pay-TV packages altogether, and recent surveys show that ESPN wouldn’t be a part of many folks’ ideal a la carte cable menu, meaning not everyone has a desperate need for ESPN. So, could cable companies hold on to their customers by lowering rates in exchange for saying goodbye to the 24-hour sports channel? [More]
It’s not a good week for Hasbro’s long-running (and apparently inexhaustible) Monopoly franchise. First, the company has to explain why its new Star Wars-themed game leaves out the new film’s female lead character, and now comes news that Hasbro has decided that Iowa’s capital city is actually located hundreds of miles away in Ohio. [More]
Hey, have you heard of this little movie coming out on Friday? It’s a Star Wars installment. Barely anyone is talking about it and there’s no advertising or merchandise, so it might be easy to…
This morning, it seemed like Disney had realized that sending copyright takedown notices for legally obtained and posted photos of Star Wars action figures was maybe not a good idea. But the Dark Side apparently has Mickey in its grips, as Disney continues to send takedown notices for copyright claims the company had already retracted. [More]
UPDATE: Within hours of issuing the retraction on the copyright claim, Disney re-sent the same claim to Facebook, this time demanding the removal of the entire post (which didn’t violate copyright to begin with). Not only is the original post gone, but the Facebook user who took the photo is currently under a three-day ban from posting anything to the site. [More]
Live sports — the supposed killer app that keeps people subscribing to cable when otherwise they might cut the cord — is, well, going cordless. Disney today announced a deal with Sony that will bring all of their programming, including ESPN, to a streaming service near you. At least, if you live in the right area.
You might be aware of this, but Disney has a new Star Wars flick coming out soon. As such, there’s been a flood of products tied to The Force Awakens — everything from toys to costumes, droid dolls to pajama sets. One of those costumes is for the Captain Phasma character, a new villain played by Gwendoline Christie (aka Brienne of Tarth on Game of Thrones) — a character that girls and boys alike might want to dress up as for Halloween (or for a regular Tuesday). So how come it’s being sold with a “BOY” label on it in a store? [More]
We’ve all seen local bakeries and supermarkets selling cakes decorated with the images of trademarked cartoon/movie/comic characters and not many people seem to care that the decorator may not have permission to use these images. But there’s also a difference between someone’s hand-iced Captain America cake and a company that uses movie stills and promotional art to make pre-fab cake frosting sheets. Thus, Disney, Lucasfilm and Sanrio — tired of seeing cakes featuring the unauthorized faces of Yoda, Iron Man, and Hello Kitty — have teamed up to sue two Michigan men for trademark and copyright infringement. [More]
Cord-cutting, in which (usually younger) pay-TV subscribers walk away from cable and embrace new ways of accessing media, has been a known phenomenon since at least 2011. But it’s been a slow-rolling snowball, even as services like Netflix soar into the stratosphere. This year, however, it seems that Wall Street traditionalists have finally caught on to the change, and they’re not happy.
European Union Investigates Claims Disneyland Paris Charges Different Prices According To Where Customer Lives
In European Union member states, consumers aren’t supposed to be charged differently for products or services depending on where they live. Yet visitors to the happiest place accessible by Paris commuter rail, Disneyland Paris, have complained to the European Commission that the resort charges people differently according to where they’re from. [More]
As some cable and live-streaming services take a step back from offering costly sports-filled channels in their bundles, the parent company of the biggest sports network on cable is looking at other ways to continue its dominance, namely by selling direct to consumers. [More]
The first film in the live-action Disney franchise High School Musical was released in 2006. Like all Disney properties, it came with a significant amount of licensed merchandise, since that’s how Disney keeps Mickey Mouse in cheddar. So this movie-branded MP3/WMA player found on a shelf at Walmart wouldn’t really have attracted our attention…if it were still 2007. [More]
Another day, another Facebook scam that has suckered more than 25,000 people in just a matter of hours — in spite of the fact that nothing about this supposed giveaway indicates that it’s legitimate. [More]
You can rest easy the next time you go to Disney World, knowing that you won’t get whapped in the face by an errant selfie stick: Under a new policy, the phone extension sticks are banned from Disney World’s theme parks. Not just on rides, but nowhere within the borders of the Magic Kingdom. And by that I mean, nowhere in any of the parks.
Three performers fired from Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando last June after they refused to wear costumes dubbed “contaminated” by other sweaty garments will be given their old jobs back and get back pay.
Earlier this week, Verizon FiOS began offering customers a new way to choose which cable channels they pay for, by allowing them to pay for a small base package of core channels and then pay to add on niche-targeted bundles of 10-17 channels each. This didn’t sit well with ESPN, the most expensive channel on just about everyone’s pay-TV lineup, and ESPN’s corporate overlords at Disney are reportedly refusing to air ads for FiOS’s new offering. [More]
While almost every important movie has long been made available as a digital download by now, the six films in the Star Wars saga have not (legally) been obtainable this way. But that will finally change starting Friday when all of the movies will be released online at the same time. [More]