Walt Disney Company


The Walt Disney Company today is made up of several divisions: Studio Entertainment, Parks and Resorts, Consumer Products, and Media Networks. As the company boasts on its website, "Each segment consists of integrated, well-connected businesses that operate in concert to maximize exposure and growth worldwide."

Studio Entertainment .

The Disney Company creates a wide range of entertainment products, including animated and live-action films under the Walt Disney label (such as The Lion King and The Pirates of the Caribbean ), as well as using the Touchstone, Hollywood, Miramax, and Dimension labels, which have released a wide variety of films such as Splash , Pulp Fiction, and Cold Mountain . Thus, the company distributes adult and foreign films that are not associated with the family-oriented, PG-rated Disney brand. The Studio Entertainment division contributed over $8.7 billion of the company's revenues for 2004.

Buena Vista Home Entertainment manages Disney's home video business and interactive products around the world. As with its film products, Disney has diversified its television offerings, producing and distributing a variety of programming under the ABC, Buena Vista, Touchstone, and Walt Disney labels. Disney also produces theatrical versions of successful animated films through Buena Vista Theatrical Productions and has become an undeniable presence in Manhattan, not only by way of its stage productions and the Disney Store in Times Square, but through extensive real estate holdings, including the headquarters of ABC.

Audio and musical products offer further opportunities to feature Disney properties and are especially lucrative for animated features. Buena Vista Music Group coordinates Disney's various recorded music businesses, which include Walt Disney Records, Buena Vista Records, Hollywood Records, and Lyric Street Records, which make a wide range of audio and music products.

Consumer Products .

Not only are Disney's merchandising activities legendary in terms of their historical precedence, the more recent strategies are remarkable. The Walt Disney Company is certainly the foremost merchandising company in Hollywood and produces or licenses a seemingly endless array of products. The Consumer Products division contributed over $2.5 billion of the company's revenues in 2004.

Disney Consumer Products, one of the largest licensors in the world, is divided into Disney Hardlines, Disney Softlines, and Disney Toys. Disney merchandise is marketed at retail outlets around the world, its own outlets at the theme parks, through on-line sites, by way of the Disney Catalogue, and at Disney Stores worldwide. The Disney Company also produces a wide range of printed material, ranging from comic books and children's magazines to adult-oriented magazines and books. At the end of 1998, the company maintained that its print products, which are published in 37 languages and distributed in more than 100 countries, make it rank above all other publishers in the world in the area of children's books and magazines. In addition to publishing under the Hyperion banner (including, ESPN Books, Talk/Miramax Book, ABC Daytime Press, and Hyperion East), it publishes the number one children's magazine in the United States, Disney Adventures . The Consumer Products division also includes Buena Vista Games, which turns Disney content into interactive gaming products, and the Baby Einstein Company, which produces developmental media for infants.

Parks and Resorts .

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts operates or licenses 10 theme parks on three continents along with 35 resort hotels, two luxury cruise ships and a wide variety of other entertainment offerings. The division contributed over $7.7 billion of the company's revenues in 2004.

The Disney empire includes six major theme parks: Disneyland (including hotels, shopping, dining and entertainment venues and a new addition, California Adventure); Walt Disney World Destination Resort (including four different theme parks, numerous hotels, recreational activities and shopping outlets); Tokyo Disneyland (with Tokyo Disney Sea, since 2001); Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland, which opened in September 2005.

Disney Regional Entertainment currently operates eight ESPN Zones, featuring sports-themed dining and entertainment. The Disney Cruise Line features voyages from the Florida complex to the Bahamas, with onboard activities for adults and for families. The company also was the mastermind of Celebration, the neotraditional planned community south of Disney World. A number of sports properties supplement the company's strong sports media holdings (see below), including the Mighty Ducks (hockey), as well as extensive sports facilities in Florida.

Media Networks .

Through the acquisition of Capital Cities/ABC in 1995, Disney firmly established its role as one of the dominant players in the US media industry. The ABC television network provides abundant opportunities to promote Disney-produced programming and other businesses, as well as exploiting the more popular ABC programs throughout the rest of the Disney empire. In 2004, the Media Networks division attracted over $11.7 billion, more than any of the other divisions.

The ABC Television Network includes ABC Entertainment, ABC Daytime, ABC News, ABC Sports, ABC Kids, and the Disney-owned production company, Touchstone Television. In addition, Disney owns 10 television stations (affiliated with ABC) that reach approximately 25 percent of the nation's households, as well as 72 radio stations, including Radio Disney, ESPN Radio, and ABC News Radio.

Disney's ownership of ESPN is through ABC, which owns 80 percent of ESPN Inc. in partnership with the Hearst Corporation. The franchise includes four domestic cable networks, regional syndication, 21 international networks, radio, Internet, retail, print and location-based dining, and entertainment. At the end of 1999, the flagship network reached over 77 million subscribers domestically, while ESPN International is said to reach more than 152 million households in 190 countries. The ESPN franchise diversified its activities even further, adding ESPN Magazine, ESPN Radio, ESPN Zones (restaurant entertainment centers), ESPN Skybox on Disney Cruise Line ships, and ESPN merchandise. Meanwhile, ESPN.com is maintained to be the most popular sports site on the Internet.

Disney's other cable holdings include the Disney Channel, ABC Family, 37.5 percent of the A&E Network, 37.5 percent of The History Channel, 50 percent of Lifetime Entertainment Services (including Lifetime and the Lifetime Movie Network), 39.6 percent of E! Entertainment Television, Toon Disney (with recycled Disney programming), and SoapNet (a 24-hour soap opera channel). The segment also operates Walt Disney Television Animation and Fox Kids International, as well as Buena Vista Television and Buena Vista Television International.

Meanwhile, The Walt Disney Internet Group manages the company's Internet business. The Company's Internet site, www.disney.com , is consistently rated as one of the Web's most popular sites, while The Daily Blast serves as a subscriber-based Website, which includes various features from Disney-owned enterprises. While the Walt Disney Company seems to have been plagued in the early years of the twenty-first century with a series of highly visible controversies pertaining to executive compensation, the composition of its Board of Directors, and Eisner's replacement, the conglomerate still holds valuable assets that continue to pay dividends. The company reported revenues of over $30 billion for 2004, with nearly $4.5 billion income and $1.12 earnings per share.

SEE ALSO Animation ; Cartoons ; Merchandising ; Studio System

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Janet Wasko

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so, are there more than 190 countries in which Disney operates in?

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