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Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International (DTCI) is a business segment and subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company consisting of Disney streaming services, overseas media businesses, global advertising sales for ESPN, ABC, and other channels and syndicated television sales. As part of the company's formation, BAMTech has been placed under Direct-to-Consumer and International.[4]

Background

Disney and Sony Pictures formed in 1997 a film distribution joint venture in Southeast Asia covering five countries.[5] From 1999 to 2000, Bob Iger was president of Walt Disney International and ABC TV Group chairman.[6] until his promotion to president and chief operating officer of the Walt Disney Company.[7]

Andy Bird became the next president of Walt Disney International in 2004.[8][9] At the time of Bird's appointment most countries units except in Latin America operated independently. He took the Latin America integrated operation as a guide for other regions. Strategically, Bird want their companies to be the Indian (or other country) Walt Disney Company not the Walt Disney Co. of a certain country, basically tailor the company to the country with for example localization of programming.[10] Diego Lerner, who lead Disney Latin America, thus was named President of Disney Europe, Middle East & Africa in 2009.[11]

Buena Vista International and Sony Pictures Releasing International formed 14th distribution joint ventures including in Mexico, Brazil, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines. Another Buena Vista-Sony distribution joint venture was set up in Russia in December 2006.[12]

The Walt Disney Company CIS office in Russia opened in 2006.[13] The company's original plan was for the release of three films per year.[14] In 2009, Disney CIS released its first Russian language film, The Book of Masters which took in 10.8 million on a budget of $8 million. By April 2011, the company announced director Vladimir Grammatikov was hired by the company as creative producer while two more Russian films were placed into production, a fairy tale and a youth story.[15] Instead, the country unit took a seven year hiatus then announced in April 2016 production on The Last Knight.[13][16] On November 26, 2017, the film became the highest-grossing local-language release of all time in Russia with 1.68 billion rubles ($28.8 million).[16]

Walt Disney International in 2014 appointed Luke Kang to head up its Greater China unit.[17] Disney South East Asia Managing Director Rob Gilby appointed three country managers for Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand, who were Herry Salim, Veronica Espinosa-Cabalinan and Subha-Orn Rathanamongkolmas (Soupy) respectively in May 2017.[18]

Paul Candland was promoted from Walt Disney Japan president to president, The Walt Disney Company, Asia consisting of Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, and Greater China in July 2014. While Stanley Cheung has been promoted from managing director to chairman of TWDC Greater China. Both report to Andy Bird, chairman of Walt Disney International.[19]

With the retirement of its Asia head Paul Candland after 19 years in September 2017, Disney split the Asia region into two, North Asia and South Asia. North Asia consists of Japan, South Korea and Greater China and is head by Kang. While, South Asia combined India and South East Asia with India's head Mahesh Samat would assume leadership over the unit by October 1 and South East Asia head Gilby left the company.[17] Also in September, Lerner was transfer to a new post within Disney International with Rebecca Campbell, then president of ABC Daytime and ABC Owned Television Stations, name to replace him as President of Disney EMEA.[11] In February 2017, Sony Pictures withdrew from the Philippines distribution joint venture followed by a withdrawing in August 2017 from the remainder of the Southeast Asian distribution joint venture countries with Disney.[5]

By November 2015, Disney UK started up Disney's test streaming service, DisneyLife, with Disney films, TV series, books and music tracks, under its general manager Paul Brown.[20] The original plan had the service spreading to other countries in Europe including France, Spain, Italy and Germany in 2016.[21] In October 2017, Ireland was the second country that DisneyLife was made available.[22] DisneyLife was launched in December 2015 through a partnership between Disney and Alibaba Digital Entertainment only to have the Chinese government shut it down in April 2015 because of foreign content rules.[23] Instead in February 2018, Disney and Alibaba reach a new deal that places Disney content on Alibaba’s Youku streaming platform.[24] In May 25, 2018, DisneyLife was expanded to the Philippines, making it as a third country where the service is available.[25]

In August 2016, The Walt Disney Company acquired a 1/3 stake in BAMTECH for $1 billion, with an option to acquire a majority stake in the future.[26] On August 8, 2017, Disney announced that it would increase its ownership in the company to a 75% controlling stake for $1.58 billion.[27] Disney also reiterated its plan to launch an ESPN-branded over-the-top service in early-2018 followed by a Disney-branded direct-to-consumer streaming service in 2019.[28] Following Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox, Disney took ownership of Fox's networks outside the US.[29]

History

Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International was formed as part of The Walt Disney Company’s March 14, 2018 strategic reorganization in anticipation of integrating Fox assets, with units coming from all of the other segments.[4][30] Kevin Mayer was named as the new segment's chairman.[30] With the restructuring, Disney International chair Andy Bird is expected to leave Walt Disney Company.[4] On May 25, 2018, Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International was incorporated.[2]

ESPN+ would officially launched on April 12, 2018.[31] BAMTech Media was renamed as Disney Streaming Services by October 10, 2018. At that time, ESPN’s chief technology officer Aaron LaBerge was named to the new post of executive vice-president and chief technology officer of the segment.[32]

On October 31, 2018, ESPN International executive vice-president and managing director Russell Wolff was named executive vice-president and general manager of ESPN+ reporting to Disney Streaming Services president (formerly BAMTech Media). The ESPN International regional general managers started reporting to DTCI’s regional leadership.[33]

The international regions post 21c Fox merger organization were announced December 13, 2018 with Lerner and Campbell remaining over the Latin American and EMEA regions with the EMEA region adding Russia and CIS countries. While a new Asia Pacific region would replace South Asia and North Asia. Uday Shankar, who serves as president of Fox Asia and chairman of the Star India, would talk charge of this region and as chair of Disney India. The three regional heads and Janice Marinelli, president of global content sales and distribution, would report to Mayer.[34] Mahesh Samat, South Asia head, moved to Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products as Executive Vice President, Disney Consumer Products for Asia Pacific in late November 2018.[35]

Shankar set the Asia-Pacific management team on April 1, 2019. Fox executives moving over are Star Regional Media Networks' K Madhavan as head of Star India's regional language channels, Kurt Rieder as studio chief Asian Pacific with India's film operations reporting separately. While Fox executives laid off were head of international distribution Andrew Cripps and head of Fox Networks Group in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, Zubin Gandevia. Disney's Malaysia and Singapore head Amit Malhotra would head lead emerging markets and south Asia Pacific content sales reporting to Shankar and Marinelli, president of global content sales. Chafic Najia, a Disney senior vice president, was promoted to the Middle East Media cluster country manager. While Disney’s Australia and New Zealand country manager Kylie Watson-Wheeler added media networks and direct-to-consumer to her responsibilities.[36]

Units

Direct-to-consumer

global content sales and distribution

International

Transferred

Unit From Years[30]
Disney Digital Network Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media 2018–
BAMTech (75%)[33] Disney corporate strategy office 2018—
Hulu (30%) Walt Disney Television 2018—
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
  • Movies Anywhere
Walt Disney Studios 2018–[42]
Disney–ABC Domestic Television Walt Disney Television 2018—[42]
Disney Channels Worldwide (International)
Disney Media Distribution
DATG advertising sales
ESPN sales and marketing ESPN Inc.
ESPN International regional businesses 10/2018[33]
  • Endemol Shine Group (50%)
  • Star India
    • Hotstar
  • Tata Sky (30%)
  • TrueX
  • 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • Fox Telecolombia (51%)
  • LAPTV
  • Fox Star Studios
  • Rede Telecine
  • Hulu (30%)
21st Century Fox 2019—
Walt Disney International South Asia[17]

Walt Disney International

2018–[43]
The Walt Disney Company EMEA
(additional companies)
Walt Disney International North Asia[17]
  • Walt Disney Japan Co., Ltd.
  • Walt Disney Greater China
    • The Walt Disney Company (China) Ltd.
    • The Walt Disney Company (Taiwan) Ltd.
  • Disney South Korea
The Walt Disney Company Latin America

References

  1. Barnes, Brooks (2018-08-05). "Disney’s Streaming Service Starts to Come Into Focus" (in en-US), The New York Times. "— along with “an astute awareness of how audiences connect with the Disney brand,” as Kevin Mayer, chairman of Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International, put it in a news release announcing Mr. Strauss’s promotion" 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Articles of Incorporation of Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumers & International". (PDF) California Business Search. California State Secretary of State Retrieved on September 3, 2018.
  3. "Exhibit 8K". www.sec.gov. Walt Disney Company Retrieved on March 4, 2019.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Disney Reorganization Anticipates 21st Century Fox Assets", The New York Times (March 14, 2018). Retrieved on April 4, 2018. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Sony Launches Its Own Theatrical Distributors in Southeast Asia (EXCLUSIVE)", Variety (August 14, 2017). Retrieved on June 13, 2018. 
  6. (2004) Encyclopedia of Television, Second, Routledge, page 1168. ISBN 978-1579583941. 
  7. Weinraub, Bernard (January 25, 2000). "Disney Names New President In Reshuffling", The New York Times. Retrieved on May 22, 2010. 
  8. "Andy Bird: Mister Mouse of Warrington". The Independent (2005-12-19) Retrieved on 2008-05-14.
  9. "Andy Bird Steps Down as Chairman of Walt Disney International", TheWrap (March 19, 2018). Retrieved on April 9, 2018. 
  10. "Walt Disney International Boss Talks Running a Successful Business Worldwide" (in en), The Hollywood Reporter (November 19, 2015). Retrieved on April 9, 2018. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Disney Intl Names Rebecca Campbell President For Europe, Middle East & Africa", Deadline, Penske Business Media (September 21, 2017). Retrieved on April 9, 2018. 
  12. "Disney, Sony team up for Russian content" (in en), AP, The Hollywood Reporter (December 27, 2006). Retrieved on June 13, 2018. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Disney Resumes Local-Language Movie Production in Russia After 7-Year Break" (in en), The Hollywood Reporter (April 20, 2016). Retrieved on July 30, 2018. 
  14. "Disney in the tale hit", Kommersant (19 April 2016), pp. 1. Retrieved on July 30, 2018.  Translation.
  15. "Disney to Begin Production of Two Russian-Language Movies This Summer" (in en), The Hollywood Reporter (April 20, 2011). Retrieved on July 30, 2018. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Russia Box Office: Disney Film Becomes Top Local-Language Release of All Time" (in en), The Hollywood Reporter (November 27, 2017). Retrieved on July 30, 2018. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 "Disney Splits Asia Regional Management in Two", Variety (September 12, 2017). Retrieved on March 16, 2018. 
  18. "Disney appoints country managers" (in en), The Nation (May 7, 2017). Retrieved on June 13, 2018. 
  19. "Paul Candland Upped To President Of The Walt Disney Company Asia" (in en), Deadline (July 29, 2014). Retrieved on April 15, 2019. 
  20. "Disney hands over keys to kingdom with launch of online TV service" (in en), the Guardian (23 November 2015). Retrieved on 21 August 2018. 
  21. "Disney to Launch Subscription Streaming Service in U.K.", Variety (October 21, 2015). Retrieved on August 21, 2018. 
  22. "Disneylife streaming service has arrived in Ireland", Irish Mirror (11 October 2017). Retrieved on 21 August 2018. 
  23. "DisneyLife Taken Off Air by China Regulators", Variety (April 26, 2016). Retrieved on August 21, 2018. 
  24. "Disney Cartoons Expand in China on Alibaba’s Youku Platform", Variety (February 12, 2018). Retrieved on August 21, 2018. 
  25. "Disney launches own streaming app in PH, costs P149 monthly on Globe". Rappler. (25 May 2018) Retrieved on 28 August 2018.
  26. "Disney Said to Buy Stake in $3.5 Billion MLB Web Unit" (in en), Bloomberg.com (June 30, 2016). Retrieved on April 9, 2018. 
  27. "Marvel and Star Wars films will ditch Netflix for Disney's own service" (in en), CNET, CBS Interactive. 
  28. Spangler, Todd (August 8, 2017). "Disney to End Netflix Deal, Sets Launch of ESPN and Disney-Branded Streaming Services" (in en-US), Variety, Penske Media Corporation. 
  29. Littleton, Cynthia (2019-03-19). "Disney Closes $71 Billion 21st Century Fox Deal". (en) Variety.
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 "Disney Reorganizes Divisions, Creates Dedicated Direct-to-Consumer Streaming Unit", Variety (March 14, 2018). Retrieved on March 15, 2018. 
  31. "ESPN+ will launch on April 12th for $4.99 per month", The Verge. 
  32. "Disney Appoints ESPN’s Aaron LaBerge as CTO of Streaming and International Division", Variety (October 10, 2018). Retrieved on November 13, 2018. 
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 "Disney Puts Longtime ESPN Exec Russell Wolff in Charge of ESPN+ Streaming Service", Variety (October 31, 2018). Retrieved on November 12, 2018. 
  34. Clarke, Stewart (December 13, 2018). "Disney Sets Out International Leadership Team Post-Fox Deal". Retrieved on December 14, 2018.
  35. "The Walt Disney Company appoints new Head of Consumer Products Commercialization", Retail News Asia, Mojju (November 27, 2018). Retrieved on December 13, 2018. 
  36. "Disney Gives Leadership Roles to Several Fox Staffers in Asia Reshuffle" (in en), Variety (April 1, 2019). Retrieved on April 2, 2019. 
  37. "Walt Disney Co Asia Pacific Ltd/The: Company Profile". (en) Bloomberg. Retrieved on April 5, 2019.
  38. "PH a happy place for Disney group" (in en), Philippine Daily Inquirer (December 22, 2017). Retrieved on June 13, 2018. 
  39. "Disney Malaysia lodges appeal, Censorship Board says it will not budge", The Star (March 16, 2017). Retrieved on June 14, 2018. 
  40. "PT Walt Disney Indonesia never plan to build Disneyland in Bogor | Republika Online", Republika Online (September 17, 2015). Retrieved on June 14, 2018. 
  41. "THE WALT DISNEY (THAILAND) COMPANY LIMITED Company Profile | D&B Hoovers". www.hoovers.com. Retrieved on June 14, 2018.
  42. 42.0 42.1 "Disney Announces Reorganization, Names Kevin Mayer Head Of New Direct-To-Consumer Unit, Adds Consumer Products To Bob Chapek’s Portfolio", Deadline (March 14, 2018). Retrieved on March 16, 2018. 
  43. "Disney announces strategic reorganization, effective immediately", CNBC (March 14, 2018). Retrieved on March 14, 2018. 


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