The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries, is a diversified worldwide entertainment company with operations in four business segments: Media Networks, Parks and Resorts, Studio Entertainment, and Consumer Products & Interactive Media.
The Company employed approximately 201,000 people as of September 29, 2018.
The Media Networks segment includes cable and broadcast television networks, television production and distribution operations, domestic television stations and radio networks and stations. The Company also has investments in entities that operate programming services, including television networks, which are accounted for under the equity method of accounting.
The businesses in the Media Networks segment principally generate revenue from the following:
- fees charged to cable, satellite and telecommunications service providers (traditional Multi-channel Video Programming Distributors (MVPD)), over-the-top (OTT) digital MVPDs (DMVPD) (both collectively referred to as MVPDs) and television stations affiliated with our domestic broadcast television network for the right to deliver our programs to their customers/subscribers (“affiliate fees”);
- the sale to advertisers of time in programs for commercial announcements (“ad sales”); and
- the license to television networks and distributors of the right to use our television programming (“program sales”).
Operating expenses primarily consist of programming and production costs, participations and residuals expense, technical support costs, operating labor and distribution costs.
Our primary cable networks are branded ESPN, Disney and Freeform. These networks produce their own programs or acquire rights from third parties to air their programs on our networks.
Cable networks derive the majority of their revenues from affiliate fees and, for certain networks (primarily ESPN and Freeform), ad sales. Generally, the Company’s cable networks provide programming under multi-year licensing agreements with MVPDs that include contractually specified rates on a per subscriber basis. The amounts that we can charge to MVPDs for our cable network programming is largely dependent on the quality and quantity of programming that we can provide and the competitive market for programming services. The ability to sell time and the rates received for commercial announcements are primarily dependent on the size and nature of the audience that the network can deliver to the advertiser as well as overall advertiser demand. We also sell programming developed by our cable networks worldwide to television broadcasters, to subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services (such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon) and in home entertainment formats (such as DVD, Blu-ray and electronic home video license).
The Company’s significant cable channels and the number of subscribers as estimated by Nielsen Media Research are as follows:
|ESPN - Domestic|| |
|Disney - Domestic|| |
|International Channels|| |
|ESPN2||86||Disney Junior||69||Disney Channel||225|
|ESPNU||64||Disney XD||71||Disney Junior||159|
ESPN is a multimedia sports entertainment company owned 80% by the Company and 20% by Hearst Corporation. ESPN operates eight 24-hour domestic television sports channels: ESPN and ESPN2 (sports channel dedicated to professional and college sports as well as sports news and original programming), ESPNU (a channel devoted to college sports), ESPNEWS, SEC Network (a sports programming channel dedicated to Southeastern Conference college athletics), ESPN Classic, Longhorn Network (a channel dedicated to The University of Texas athletics) and ESPN Deportes (a Spanish language channel), which are all simulcast in high definition except ESPN Classic. The ACC Network (a sports programming channel dedicated to Atlantic Coast Conference college athletics), is set to launch in 2019. ESPN programs the sports schedule on the ABC Television Network, which is branded ESPN on ABC. ESPN owns 19 television channels outside of the United States (primarily in Latin America and Australia) that reach 61 countries and territories in four languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese and French).
ESPN holds rights for various professional and college sports programming including college football (including bowl games and the College Football Playoff) and basketball, the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), US Open Tennis, the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Championship, various soccer rights, the Wimbledon Championships and the Masters golf tournament.
ESPN also operates:
- ESPN.com - which delivers sports news, information and video on internet-connected devices, with thirteen editions in three languages globally. In the U.S., ESPN.com also features live video streams of ESPN channels to authenticated MVPD subscribers. Non-subscribers have limited access to certain content.
- ESPN App - which delivers scores, news, highlights, short form video, podcasts and live audio, with thirteen editions in three languages globally. In the U.S., the ESPN App also features live video streams of ESPN’s linear channels and exclusive events to authenticated MVPD subscribers. Non-subscribers have limited access to certain content. The ESPN App is available for download on various internet-connected devices.
- ESPN Radio – which distributes talk and play by play programming and is one of the largest sports radio networks in the U.S. ESPN Radio network programming is carried on approximately 400 terrestrial stations including four ESPN owned stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas and on satellite and internet radio.
- ESPN The Magazine – which is a monthly sports magazine
- ESPN owns and operates the following events: ESPYs (annual awards show); X Games (winter and summer action sports competitions); and a portfolio of collegiate sporting events including: bowl games, basketball games, softball games and post-season award shows.
The Company operates over 100 Disney branded television channels, which are broadcast in 34 languages and 164 countries/territories. Branded channels include Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Disney Cinemagic, Disney Cinema, Disney International HD and Dlife. Disney content is also available through video-on-demand services and online through the DisneyNOW App and website. Programming for these channels includes internally developed and acquired programming.
Disney Channel - Disney Channel airs original series and movie programming targeted to kids ages 2 to 14. In the U.S., Disney Channel airs 24 hours a day. Disney Channel develops and produces shows for exhibition on its channel, including live-action comedy series, animated programming and preschool series, as well as original movies. Disney Channel also airs programming and content from Disney’s theatrical film and television programming library.
Disney Junior - Disney Junior airs programming targeted to kids ages 2 to 7 and their parents and caregivers, featuring animated and live-action programming that blends Disney’s storytelling and characters with learning. In the U.S., Disney Junior airs 24 hours a day. Disney Junior also airs as a programming block on the Disney Channel.
Disney XD - Disney XD airs a mix of live-action and animated programming targeted to kids ages 6 to 11. In the U.S., Disney XD airs 24 hours a day.
Disney Cinemagic and Disney Cinema - Disney Cinemagic and Disney Cinema are premium subscription services, which are available in a limited number of countries in Europe, that air a selection of Disney movies, cartoons and shorts as well as animated television series.
Disney International HD - Disney International HD is a channel in India that airs programming targeting viewers aged 14 to 40 with content that includes Walt Disney Animation Studios library content and Disney Channel programming.
Dlife - Dlife is an ad-supported, free-to-air satellite channel in Japan, featuring US primetime drama series, Disney-branded programming, as well as a selection of news, variety, informational and shopping programs. It is targeted to adult women and their families.
The Company also operates Radio Disney in the U.S. and Latin America.
Freeform is a domestic cable channel targeted to viewers ages 14 to 34. Freeform produces original live-action programming, acquires programming from third parties, airs content from our owned theatrical film library and features branded holiday programming events such as “25 Days of Christmas”. Freeform content is also available through video-on-demand services and through the Freeform App and website.
UTV, Bindass and Hungama TV are branded channels in India. UTV Action and UTV Movies offer Bollywood movies as well as Hollywood, Asian and Indian regional movies dubbed in Hindi. Bindass is a youth entertainment channel. Hungama TV is an Indian cable channel targeted at kids that features a mix of animated series and movies.
BAMTech is a streaming technology and content delivery business owned 75% by the Company since September 25, 2017, 15% by MLB and 10% by the National Hockey League (NHL), both of which have the right to sell their shares to the Company in the future. BAMTech comprises two businesses: 1) DTC sports; and 2) third-party streaming technology services. BAMTech’s DTC sports business includes ESPN+, which was launched in April 2018, NHL, PGA Tour Live and Major League Soccer DTC offerings. The ESPN+ service offers thousands of live events, on-demand content and original programming not available on ESPN’s other networks. The Hearst Corporation owns 20% of the Company’s interest in BAMTech’s DTC sports business.
Our broadcasting business includes a domestic broadcast network, television production and distribution operations, and eight owned domestic television stations.
Domestic Broadcast Television Network
The Company operates the ABC Television Network (ABC), which as of September 29, 2018, had affiliation agreements with 244 local television stations reaching almost 100% of U.S. television households. ABC broadcasts programs in the primetime, daytime, late night, news and sports “dayparts”.
ABC produces its own programs and also acquires programming rights from third parties as well as entities that are owned by or affiliated with the Company. ABC derives the majority of its revenues from ad sales. The ability to sell time for commercial announcements and the rates received are primarily dependent on the size and nature of the audience that the network can deliver to the advertiser as well as overall advertiser demand for time on network broadcasts. ABC also receives fees from affiliated television stations for the right to broadcast ABC programming.
ABC network programming is available digitally on internet-connected devices to authenticated MVPD subscribers. Non-subscribers have more limited access to on-demand episodes.
ABC provides online access to certain programming through the ABC App and website. ABC also provides in-depth worldwide news coverage online through websites, the ABC NewsApp, OTT apps and to select distribution partners.
Television Production and Distribution
The Company produces the majority of its scripted television programs under the ABC Studios banner. Program development is carried out in collaboration with independent writers, producers and creative teams, with a focus on one-hour dramas and half-hour comedies, primarily for primetime broadcasts. Primetime programming produced either for our networks or for third-party television networks for the 2018/2019 television season includes nine returning and seven new one-hour dramas, six returning and four new half-hour comedies, and three returning non-scripted series. Additionally, the Company is producing original first run series for SVOD services (including Hulu). The Company also produces Jimmy Kimmel Live for late night and a variety of primetime specials, as well as syndicated, news and daytime programming. We distribute the Company’s productions worldwide to television broadcasters, SVOD services (including Hulu), and on home entertainment formats.
Domestic Television Stations
The Company owns eight television stations, six of which are located in the top ten television household markets in the U.S. The television stations derive the majority of their revenues from ad sales. The stations also receive affiliate fees from MVPDs. All of our television stations are affiliated with ABC and collectively reach 21% of the nation’s television households. Generally, each owned station broadcasts three digital channels: the first consists of local, ABC and syndicated programming; the second is the Live Well Network; and the third is the LAFF Network.
The stations we own are as follows:
|TV Station||Market||Television Market Ranking|
|WABC||New York, NY||1|
|Los Angeles, CA|| |
|Philadelphia, PA|| |
|San Francisco, CA|| |
|Fresno, CA|| |
The Company has investments in media businesses that are accounted for under the equity method. The Company’s significant media equity investments are as follows:
A+E and Vice
A+E Television Networks (A+E) is owned 50% by the Company and 50% by the Hearst Corporation. A +E operates a variety of cable channels including:
- A&E – which offers entertainment programming including original reality and scripted series
- HISTORY – which offers original series and event-driven specials
- Lifetime and Lifetime Real Women – which are cable channels devoted to female-focused programming
- Lifetime Movie Network (LMN) – which is a movie channel
- FYI – which offers contemporary lifestyle programming
A+E programming is available in over 200 countries and territories. A+E’s networks are distributed internationally under multi-year licensing agreements with MVPDs. A+E programming is also sold to international television broadcasters and SVOD services.
A+E has a 20% interest in Vice Group Holding, Inc. (Vice), which operates Viceland, a channel offering programming of lifestyle-oriented documentaries and reality series aimed towards millennials. Viceland is owned 50% by A+E and 50% by Vice. In addition, the Company has an 11% direct ownership interest in Vice.
The number of domestic subscribers for A+E and Vice channels, as estimated by Nielsen Media Research, is as follows:
|Estimated Subscribers (in millions)|
ESPN holds a 30% equity interest in CTV Specialty Television, Inc., which owns television channels in Canada, including The Sports Networks (TSN) 1-5, Le Réseau des Sports (RDS), RDS2, RDS Info, ESPN Classic Canada, Discovery Canada and Animal Planet Canada.
Hulu LLC (Hulu) aggregates acquired television and film entertainment content and original content produced by Hulu and distributes it digitally to internet-connected devices. Hulu offers a subscription-based service with limited commercial announcements and a subscription-based service with no commercial announcements. In addition, Hulu operates a DMVPD service, which offers linear streams of broadcast and cable channels, including the major broadcast networks.
The Company licenses our television and film content to Hulu in the ordinary course of business. The Company defers a portion of its profits from these transactions. The profit is recognized as Hulu expenses the programming. The portion that is deferred reflects our ownership interest in Hulu.
Hulu is owned 30% each by the Company, 21CF and Comcast Corporation, with Warner Media LLC (WM) holding the remaining 10% interest. WM acquired its interest from Hulu for $0.6 billion in August 2016. In addition, WM has made $0.2 billion in subsequent capital contributions. For not more than 36 months from August 2016, WM may put its shares to Hulu or Hulu may call the shares from WM under certain limited circumstances arising from regulatory review. The Company and 21CF have agreed to make a capital contribution for up to $0.4 billion each if Hulu is required to repurchase WM’s shares.
Following completion of the 21CF acquisition the Company will consolidate Hulu’s financial results and assume 21CF’s capital contribution obligations.
Seven TV operates an advertising-supported, free-to-air Disney Channel in Russia. The Company has a 20% ownership interest and a 49% economic interest in the business.
Competition and Seasonality
The Company’s Media Networks businesses compete for viewers primarily with other broadcast and cable networks, independent television stations and other media, such as online video services and video games. With respect to the sale of advertising time, we compete with other television networks and radio stations, independent television stations, MVPDs and other advertising media such as digital content, newspapers, magazines and billboards. Our television and radio stations primarily compete for audiences and advertisers in local market areas.
The Company’s Media Networks businesses face competition from other networks for carriage by MVPDs. The Company’s contractual agreements with MVPDs are renewed or renegotiated from time to time in the ordinary course of business. Consolidation and other market conditions in the cable, satellite and telecommunication distribution industry and other factors may adversely affect the Company’s ability to obtain and maintain contractual terms for the distribution of its various programming services that are as favorable as those currently in place.
The Company’s Media Networks businesses also compete with other media and entertainment companies, SVOD providers and DTC services for the acquisition of sports rights, talent, show concepts and scripted and other programming.
The Company’s internet websites and digital products compete with other websites and entertainment products.
Advertising revenues at Media Networks are subject to seasonal advertising patterns and changes in viewership levels. Revenues are typically somewhat higher during the fall and somewhat lower during the summer months. Affiliate fees are generally collected ratably throughout the year.
Television and radio broadcasting are subject to extensive regulation by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under federal laws and regulations, including the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. Violation of FCC regulations can result in substantial monetary fines, limited renewals of licenses and, in egregious cases, denial of license renewal or revocation of a license. FCC regulations that affect our Media Networks segment include the following:
Licensing of television and radio stations. Each of the television and radio stations we own must be licensed by the FCC. These licenses are granted for periods of up to eight years, and we must obtain renewal of licenses as they expire in order to continue operating the stations. We (and the acquiring entity in the case of a divestiture) must also obtain FCC approval whenever we seek to have a license transferred in connection with the acquisition or divestiture of a station. The FCC may decline to renew or approve the transfer of a license in certain circumstances and may delay renewals while permitting a licensee to continue operating. Although we have received such renewals and approvals in the past or have been permitted to continue operations when renewal is delayed, there can be no assurance that this will be the case in the future.
Television and radio station ownership limits. The FCC imposes limitations on the number of television stations and radio stations we can own in a specific market, on the combined number of television and radio stations we can own in a single market and on the aggregate percentage of the national audience that can be reached by television stations we own. Currently:
FCC regulations may restrict our ability to own more than one television station in a market, depending on the size and nature of the market. We do not own more than one television station in any market.
Federal statutes permit our television stations in the aggregate to reach a maximum of 39% of the national audience. Pursuant to the most recent decision by the FCC as to how to calculate compliance with this limit, our eight stations reach approximately 21% of the national audience.
FCC regulations in some cases impose restrictions on our ability to acquire additional radio or television stations in the markets in which we own radio stations. We do not believe any such limitations are material to our current operating plans.
Dual networks. FCC rules currently prohibit any of the four major broadcast television networks — ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC — from being under common ownership or control.
Regulation of programming. The FCC regulates broadcast programming by, among other things, banning “indecent” programming, regulating political advertising and imposing commercial time limits during children’s programming. Penalties for broadcasting indecent programming can range up to nearly $400 thousand per indecent utterance or image per station.
Federal legislation and FCC rules also limit the amount of commercial matter that may be shown on broadcast or cable channels during programming designed for children 12 years of age and younger. In addition, broadcast channels are generally required to provide a minimum of three hours per week of programming that has as a “significant purpose” meeting the educational and informational needs of children 16 years of age and younger. FCC rules also give television station owners the right to reject or refuse network programming in certain circumstances or to substitute programming that the licensee reasonably believes to be of greater local or national importance.
Cable and satellite carriage of broadcast television stations. With respect to cable systems operating within a television station’s Designated Market Area, FCC rules require that every three years each television station elect either “must carry” status, pursuant to which cable operators generally must carry a local television station in the station’s market, or “retransmission consent” status, pursuant to which the cable operator must negotiate with the television station to obtain the consent of the television station prior to carrying its signal. Under the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act and its successors, including most recently the STELA Reauthorization Act (STELAR), which also requires the “must carry” or “retransmission consent” election, satellite carriers are permitted to retransmit a local television station’s signal into its local market with the consent of the local television station. The ABC owned television stations have historically elected retransmission consent. Portions of these satellite laws are set to expire on December 31, 2019.
Cable and satellite carriage of programming. The Communications Act and FCC rules regulate some aspects of negotiations regarding cable and satellite retransmission consent, and some cable and satellite companies have sought regulation of additional aspects of the carriage of programming on cable and satellite systems. New legislation, court action or regulation in this area could have an impact on the Company’s operations.
The foregoing is a brief summary of certain provisions of the Communications Act, other legislation and specific FCC rules and policies. Reference should be made to the Communications Act, other legislation, FCC rules and public notices and rulings of the FCC for further information concerning the nature and extent of the FCC’s regulatory authority.
FCC laws and regulations are subject to change, and the Company generally cannot predict whether new legislation, court action or regulations, or a change in the extent of application or enforcement of current laws and regulations, would have an adverse impact on our operations.
Parks and Resorts
The Company owns and operates the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida; the Disneyland Resort in California; Disneyland Paris; Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii; the Disney Vacation Club (DVC); the Disney Cruise Line; and Adventures by Disney. The Company manages and has effective ownership interests of 47% in Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and 43% in Shanghai Disney Resort, both of which are consolidated in our financial statements. The Company licenses our intellectual property to a third party to operate the Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan. The Company’s Walt Disney Imagineering unit designs and develops new theme park concepts and attractions as well as resort properties.
The businesses in the Parks and Resorts segment generate revenues from the sale of admissions to theme parks, sales of food, beverage and merchandise, charges for resort and vacation packages, which include room nights at hotels, sales of cruise vacations and sales and rentals of vacation club properties. Revenues are also generated from sponsorships and co-branding opportunities, real estate rent and sales, and royalties from Tokyo Disney Resort. Significant costs include labor, infrastructure costs, depreciation, costs of merchandise, food and beverage sold, marketing and sales expense, and cost of vacation club units. Infrastructure costs include information systems expense, repairs and maintenance, utilities and fuel, property taxes, insurance and transportation.
Walt Disney World Resort
The Walt Disney World Resort is located 22 miles southwest of Orlando, Florida, on approximately 25,000 acres of land. The resort includes theme parks (the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom); hotels; vacation club properties; a retail, dining and entertainment complex (Disney Springs); a sports complex; conference centers; campgrounds; golf courses; water parks; and other recreational facilities designed to attract visitors for an extended stay.
The Walt Disney World Resort is marketed through a variety of international, national and local advertising and promotional activities. A number of attractions and restaurants in each of the theme parks are sponsored or operated by other corporations under multi-year agreements.
Magic Kingdom — The Magic Kingdom consists of six themed areas: Adventureland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Main Street USA and Tomorrowland. Each land provides a unique guest experience featuring themed attractions, live Disney character interactions, restaurants, refreshment areas and merchandise shops. Additionally, there are daily parades and a nighttime fireworks event.
Epcot — Epcot consists of two major themed areas: Future World and World Showcase. Future World dramatizes certain historical developments and addresses the challenges facing the world today through pavilions devoted to showcasing science and technology innovations, communication, transportation, use of imagination, nature and food production, the ocean environment and space. World Showcase presents a community of nations focusing on the culture, traditions and accomplishments of people around the world. Countries represented with pavilions include Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States. Both areas feature themed attractions, restaurants and merchandise shops. Epcot also features a nighttime entertainment event.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios — Disney’s Hollywood Studios consists of seven themed areas: Animation Courtyard, Commissary Lane, Echo Lake, Grand Avenue, Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard and Toy Story Land, which opened in June 2018. The areas provide behind-the-scenes glimpses of Hollywood-style action through various shows and attractions and offer themed food service and merchandise facilities. The park also features nighttime entertainment events. The Company is constructing a new themed area, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2019.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom — Disney’s Animal Kingdom consists of a 145-foot tall Tree of Life centerpiece surrounded by seven themed areas: Africa, Asia, DinoLand USA, Discovery Island, Oasis, Pandora - The World of Avatar and Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Each themed area contains attractions, entertainment, restaurants and merchandise shops. The park features more than 300 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians and 3,000 varieties of vegetation. Disney’s Animal Kingdom also features a nighttime entertainment event.
Hotels, Vacation Club Properties and Other Resort Facilities — As of September 29, 2018, the Company owned and operated 18 resort hotels and vacation club facilities at the Walt Disney World Resort, with approximately 22,000 rooms and 3,200 vacation club units. Resort facilities include 500,000 square feet of conference meeting space and Disney’s Fort Wilderness camping and recreational area, which offers approximately 800 campsites. The Company is constructing a new 500-room tower scheduled to open in 2019 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. The Company has also announced plans for Reflections - A Disney Lakeside Lodge, which is a nature-inspired resort with more than 900 rooms and vacation club units opening in 2022.
Disney Springs is a 127-acre retail, dining and entertainment complex and consists of four areas: Marketplace, The Landing, Town Center and West Side. The areas are home to more than 150 venues including the 64,000-square-foot World of Disney retail store. Most of the Disney Springs facilities are operated by third parties that pay rent to the Company.
Nine independently-operated hotels with approximately 6,000 rooms are situated on property leased from the Company.
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is a 230-acre center that hosts professional caliber training and competitions, festival and tournament events and interactive sports activities. The complex, which welcomes both amateur and professional athletes, accommodates multiple sporting events, including baseball, basketball, football, soccer, softball, tennis and track and field. It also includes a 9,500-seat stadium and an 8,000-seat venue designed for cheerleading, dance competitions and other indoor sports.
Other recreational amenities and activities available at the Walt Disney World Resort include three championship golf courses, miniature golf courses, full-service spas, tennis, sailing, water skiing, swimming, horseback riding and a number of other sports and leisure time activities. The resort also includes two water parks: Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon.
The Company owns 486 acres and has the rights under a long-term lease for use of an additional 55 acres of land in Anaheim, California. The Disneyland Resort includes two theme parks (Disneyland and Disney California Adventure), three resort hotels and a retail, dining and entertainment complex (Downtown Disney).
The Disneyland Resort is marketed through a variety of international, national and local advertising and promotional activities. A number of the attractions and restaurants in the theme parks are sponsored or operated by other corporations under multi-year agreements.
Disneyland — Disneyland consists of eight themed areas: Adventureland, Critter Country, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Main Street USA, Mickey’s Toontown, New Orleans Square and Tomorrowland. These areas feature themed attractions, shows, restaurants, merchandise shops and refreshment stands. Additionally, there are daily parades and nighttime fireworks and entertainment events. The Company is constructing a new themed area, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which is scheduled to open in summer 2019.
Disney California Adventure — Disney California Adventure is adjacent to Disneyland and includes six themed areas: Buena Vista Street, Cars Land, Grizzly Peak, Hollywood Land, Pacific Wharf and Pixar Pier. These areas include attractions, shows, restaurants, merchandise shops and refreshment stands. Additionally, Disney California Adventure offers a nighttime entertainment event. The Company is constructing a new Super Hero-themed area that is scheduled to open in 2020.
Hotels, Vacation Club Units and Other Resort Facilities — Disneyland Resort includes three Company owned and operated hotels and vacation club facilities with approximately 2,400 rooms, 50 vacation club units and 180,000 square feet of conference meeting space.
Downtown Disney is a themed 15-acre, retail, entertainment and dining complex with approximately 23 venues located adjacent to both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Most of the Downtown Disney facilities are operated by third parties that pay rent to the Company. The Company is building a new 6,500-space parking garage scheduled to open in 2019.
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, is a Company-operated family resort on a 21-acre oceanfront property on Oahu, Hawaii featuring 351 hotel rooms, an 18,000-square-foot spa and 12,000 square feet of conference meeting space. The resort also has 481 vacation club units.
Disneyland Paris is located on a 5,510-acre development in Marne-la-Vallée, approximately 20 miles east of Paris, France. The land is being developed pursuant to a master agreement with French governmental authorities. Disneyland Paris includes two theme parks (Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park); seven themed resort hotels; two convention centers; a shopping, dining and entertainment complex (Disney Village); and a 27-hole golf facility. Of the 5,510 acres comprising the site, approximately half have been developed to date, including a planned community (Val d’Europe) and an eco-tourism destination (Villages Nature).
Disneyland Park — Disneyland Park consists of five themed areas: Adventureland, Discoveryland, Fantasyland, Frontierland and Main Street USA. These areas include themed attractions, shows, restaurants, merchandise shops and refreshment stands. Disneyland Park also features a daily parade and a nighttime entertainment event.
Walt Disney Studios Park — Walt Disney Studios Park takes guests into the worlds of cinema, animation and television and includes four themed areas: Backlot, Front Lot, Production Courtyard and Toon Studio. These areas each include themed attractions, shows, restaurants, merchandise shops and refreshment stands. The Company has announced plans for a multi-year expansion of Walt Disney Studios Park that will roll out in phases beginning in 2021 and add three new themed areas based on Marvel, Frozen and Star Wars.
Hotels and Other Facilities — Disneyland Paris operates seven resort hotels, with approximately 5,800 rooms and 210,000 square feet of conference meeting space. In addition, nine on-site hotels that are owned and operated by third parties provide approximately 2,700 rooms.
Disney Village is a 500,000-square-foot retail, dining and entertainment complex located between the theme parks and the hotels. A number of the Disney Village facilities are operated by third parties that pay rent to Disneyland Paris.
Val d’Europe is a planned community near Disneyland Paris that is being developed in phases. Val d’Europe currently includes a regional train station, hotels and a town center consisting of a shopping center as well as office, commercial and residential space. Third parties operate these developments on land leased or purchased from Disneyland Paris.
Villages Nature is a European eco-tourism resort that consists of recreational facilities, restaurants and 900 vacation units. The resort is a 50% joint venture between Disneyland Paris and Pierre & Vacances-Center Parcs, who manages the venture.
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort
The Company owns a 47% interest in Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) owns a 53% interest. The resort is located on 310 acres on Lantau Island and is in close proximity to the Hong Kong International Airport. Hong Kong Disneyland Resort includes one theme park and three themed resort hotels. A separate Hong Kong subsidiary of the Company is responsible for managing Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. The Company is entitled to receive royalties and management fees based on the operating performance of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.
Hong Kong Disneyland — Hong Kong Disneyland consists of seven themed areas: Adventureland, Fantasyland, Grizzly Gulch, Main Street USA, Mystic Point, Tomorrowland and Toy Story Land. These areas feature themed attractions, shows, restaurants, merchandise shops and refreshment stands. Additionally, there are daily parades and a nighttime entertainment event. Hong Kong Disneyland Resort is expanding the park in phases opening through 2023, which will add a number of new guest offerings, including two new themed areas and a transformation of the Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Hotels — Hong Kong Disneyland Resort includes three themed hotels with a total of 1,750 rooms.
Shanghai Disney Resort
The Company owns a 43% interest in Shanghai Disney Resort, and Shanghai Shendi (Group) Co., Ltd (Shendi) owns a 57% interest. The resort is located in the Pudong district of Shanghai on approximately 1,000 acres of land, which includes the Shanghai Disneyland theme park; two themed resort hotels; a retail, dining and entertainment complex (Disneytown); and an outdoor recreation area. A management company, in which the Company has a 70% interest and Shendi has a 30% interest, is responsible for operating the resort and receives a management fee based on the operating performance of Shanghai Disney Resort. The Company is also entitled to royalties based on the resort’s revenues.
Shanghai Disneyland — Shanghai Disneyland consists of seven themed areas: Adventure Isle, Fantasyland, Gardens of Imagination, Mickey Avenue, Tomorrowland, Toy Story Land, which opened in April 2018, and Treasure Cove. These areas feature themed attractions, shows, restaurants, merchandise shops and refreshment stands. Additionally, there are daily parades and a nighttime fireworks event.
Hotels and Other Facilities - Shanghai Disneyland Resort includes two themed hotels with a total of 1,220 rooms. Disneytown is an 11-acre outdoor complex of dining, shopping and entertainment venues located adjacent to Shanghai Disneyland. Most Disneytown facilities are operated by third parties that pay rent to Shanghai Disney Resort.
Tokyo Disney Resort
Tokyo Disney Resort is located on 494 acres of land, six miles east of downtown Tokyo, Japan. The Company earns royalties on revenues generated by the Tokyo Disney Resort, which is owned and operated by Oriental Land Co., Ltd. (OLC), a third-party Japanese corporation. The resort includes two theme parks (Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea); four Disney-branded hotels; six other hotels (operated by third parties other than OLC); a retail, dining and entertainment complex (Ikspiari); and Bon Voyage, a Disney-themed merchandise location.
Tokyo Disneyland — Tokyo Disneyland consists of seven themed areas: Adventureland, Critter Country, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Toontown, Westernland and World Bazaar. OLC has begun construction on an expansion of Tokyo Disneyland, which is scheduled to open in 2020.
Tokyo DisneySea — Tokyo DisneySea, adjacent to Tokyo Disneyland, is divided into seven “ports of call,” including American Waterfront, Arabian Coast, Lost River Delta, Mediterranean Harbor, Mermaid Lagoon, Mysterious Island and Port Discovery. OLC has announced plans for an eighth themed port scheduled to open in 2022.
Hotels and Other Resort Facilities — Tokyo Disney Resort includes four Disney-branded hotels with a total of more than 2,400 rooms and a monorail, which links the theme parks and resort hotels with Ikspiari. OLC has announced plans to open a 475-room Disney-branded hotel, which will integrate into the eighth themed port at Tokyo DisneySea.
Disney Vacation Club
DVC offers ownership interests in 14 resort facilities located at the Walt Disney World Resort; Disneyland Resort; Aulani; Vero Beach, Florida; and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Available units are offered for sale under a vacation ownership plan and are operated as hotel rooms when not occupied by vacation club members. The Company’s vacation club units range from deluxe studios to three-bedroom grand villas. Unit counts in this document are presented in terms of two-bedroom equivalents. DVC had approximately 4,000 vacation club units as of September 29, 2018. The Company has announced plans to add approximately 550 vacation club units at Walt Disney World. These units will be part of Disney’s Riviera Resort and Reflections - A Disney Lakeside Lodge, scheduled to open in 2019 and 2022, respectively.
Disney Cruise Line
Disney Cruise Line is a four-ship vacation cruise line, which operates out of ports in North America and Europe. The Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder are approximately 85,000-ton 875-stateroom ships, and the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy are approximately 130,000-ton 1,250-stateroom ships. The ships cater to families, children, teenagers and adults, with distinctly-themed areas and activities for each group. Many cruise vacations include a visit to Disney’s Castaway Cay, a 1,000-acre private Bahamian island. The Company is expanding its cruise business by adding three new ships to be delivered in calendar 2021, 2022 and 2023. The new ships will each be approximately 135,000 tons with 1,250 staterooms.
Adventures by Disney
Adventures by Disney offers all-inclusive guided vacation tour packages predominantly at non-Disney sites around the world. The Company offered 40 different tour packages during 2018.
Walt Disney Imagineering
Walt Disney Imagineering provides master planning, real estate development, attraction, entertainment and show design, engineering support, production support, project management and research and development for the Company’s Parks and Resorts operations.
Competition and Seasonality
The Company’s theme parks and resorts as well as Disney Cruise Line and Disney Vacation Club compete with other forms of entertainment, lodging, tourism and recreational activities. The profitability of the leisure-time industry may be influenced by various factors that are not directly controllable, such as economic conditions including business cycle and exchange rate fluctuations, the political environment, travel industry trends, amount of available leisure time, oil and transportation prices, weather patterns and natural disasters.
All of the theme parks and the associated resort facilities are operated on a year-round basis. Typically, theme park attendance and resort occupancy fluctuate based on the seasonal nature of vacation travel and leisure activities, the opening of new guest offerings, and pricing and promotional offers. Peak attendance and resort occupancy generally occur during the summer months when school vacations occur and during early-winter and spring-holiday periods.
The Studio Entertainment segment produces and acquires live-action and animated motion pictures, musical recordings and live stage plays.
The businesses in the Studio Entertainment segment generate revenue from distribution of films in the theatrical, home entertainment and television and SVOD markets, stage play ticket sales, music distribution and licensing of Company intellectual property for use in live entertainment productions. Significant operating expenses include amortization of production, participations and residuals costs, marketing and sales costs, distribution expenses and costs of sales.
The Company distributes films primarily under the Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Touchstone banners. In addition, the Company distributes live-action films produced by DreamWorks Studios (DreamWorks) that were released theatrically from 2010 through 2016.
Prior to the Company’s acquisition of Marvel in fiscal year 2010, Marvel had licensed the rights to third-party studios to produce and distribute feature films based on certain Marvel properties including Spider-Man (licensed to Sony Pictures Entertainment), The Fantastic Four (licensed to 21CF) and X-Men (licensed to 21CF). Under the licensing arrangements, the third-party studios incur the costs to produce and distribute the films, and the Company retains the merchandise licensing rights. Under the licensing arrangement for Spider-Man, the Company pays the third-party studio a licensing fee based on each film’s box office receipts, subject to specified limits. Under the licensing arrangements for The Fantastic Four and X-Men, the third-party studio pays the Company a licensing fee and receives a share of the Company’s merchandise revenue on these properties. The Company distributes all Marvel-produced films with the exception of The Incredible Hulk, which is distributed by Universal Pictures.
Prior to the Company’s acquisition of Lucasfilm in fiscal year 2013, Lucasfilm produced six Star Wars films (Episodes 1 through 6). Lucasfilm retained the merchandise licensing rights related to all of those films and the rights related to television and electronic distribution formats for all of those films, with the exception of the rights for Episode 4, which are owned by 21CF. All of those films are distributed by 21CF in the theatrical and home entertainment markets. The theatrical and home entertainment distribution rights for these films revert back to Lucasfilm in May 2020 with the exception of Episode 4, for which these distribution rights are retained by 21CF.
Lucasfilm also includes Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, which provide visual and audio effects and other post-production services to the Company and third-party producers.
We produce and distribute both live-action films and full-length animated films. In the domestic theatrical market, we generally distribute and market our filmed products directly. In most major international markets, we distribute our filmed products directly while in other markets our films are distributed by independent companies or joint ventures. During fiscal 2019, we expect to release 11 of our own produced feature films. Cumulatively through September 29, 2018 the Company has released domestically approximately 1,000 full-length live-action features and 100 full-length animated features.
The Company incurs significant marketing and advertising costs before and throughout the theatrical release of a film in an effort to generate public awareness of the film, to increase the public’s intent to view the film and to help generate consumer interest in the subsequent home entertainment and other ancillary markets. These costs are expensed as incurred. Therefore, we may incur a loss on a film in the theatrical markets, including in periods prior to the theatrical release of the film.
Home Entertainment Market
In the domestic market, we distribute home entertainment releases directly under each of our motion picture banners. In international markets, we distribute home entertainment releases under our motion picture banners both directly and through independent distribution companies.
Domestic and international home entertainment distribution typically starts three to six months after the theatrical release in each market. Home entertainment releases are distributed in physical (DVD and Blu-ray) and electronic formats. Electronic formats may be released up to four weeks ahead of the physical release. Physical formats are generally sold to retailers, such as Walmart and Target and electronic formats are sold through e-tailers, such as Apple and Amazon.
As of September 29, 2018, we had approximately 1,500 active produced and acquired titles, including 1,100 live-action titles and 400 animated titles, in the domestic home entertainment marketplace and approximately 1,600 active produced and acquired titles, including 1,100 live-action titles and 500 animated titles, in the international marketplace.
In the television market, we license our films to cable and broadcast networks, television stations and other video service providers, which may provide the content to viewers on television or a variety of internet-connected devices. The Company plans to launch Disney+ in late 2019, therefore we may not license the films to third parties in some of the following windows:
Video-on-Demand (VOD) — Concurrently with physical home entertainment distribution, we license titles to VOD service providers for electronic delivery to consumers for a specified rental period.
Pay Television (Pay 1) — In the U.S., there are two or three pay television windows. The first window is generally eighteen months in duration and follows the VOD window. The Company has licensed exclusive domestic pay television rights to Netflix for all films released theatrically during calendar years 2016 through 2018, with the exception of DreamWorks films. DreamWorks titles that are distributed by the Company are licensed to Showtime under a separate agreement.
Free Television (Free 1) — The Pay 1 window is followed by a television window that may last up to 84 months. Motion pictures are usually sold in the Free 1 window to basic cable networks.
Pay Television 2 (Pay 2) and Free Television 2 (Free 2) — In the U.S., Free 1 is generally followed by a twelve to nineteen-month Pay 2 window under our license arrangements with Netflix, Starz and Showtime. The Pay 2 window is followed by a Free 2 window generally for up to 84 months, whereby films are licensed to basic cable networks, SVOD services and to television station groups.
Pay Television 3 (Pay 3) and Free Television 3 (Free 3) — In the U.S., Free 2 is sometimes followed by a seven-month Pay 3 window, and then by a Free 3 window, which can have license periods of various lengths. In the Free 3 window, films are licensed to basic cable networks, SVOD services and to television station groups.
International Television — The Company also licenses its films outside of the U.S. The typical windowing sequence is consistent with the domestic cycle such that titles premiere on VOD services and then on pay TV or SVOD services before airing in free TV. Windowing strategies are developed in response to local market practices and conditions, and the exact sequence and length of each window can vary by country.
Disney Music Group
The Disney Music Group (DMG) commissions new music for the Company’s motion pictures and television programs and develops, produces, markets and distributes recorded music worldwide either directly or through license agreements. DMG also licenses the songs and recording copyrights to third parties for printed music, records, audio-visual devices, public performances and digital distribution and produces live musical concerts. DMG includes Walt Disney Records, Hollywood Records, Disney Music Publishing and Disney Concerts.
Disney Theatrical Group
Disney Theatrical Group develops, produces and licenses live entertainment events on Broadway and around the world, including The Lion King, Aladdin, Frozen, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mary Poppins (a co-production with Cameron Mackintosh Ltd), Newsies and TARZAN®.
Disney Theatrical Group also licenses the Company’s intellectual property to Feld Entertainment, the producer of Disney On Ice and Marvel Universe Live!.
Competition and Seasonality
The Studio Entertainment businesses compete with all forms of entertainment. A significant number of companies produce and/or distribute theatrical and television films, exploit products in the home entertainment market, provide pay television and SVOD programming services, produce music and sponsor live theater. We also compete to obtain creative and performing talents, story properties, advertiser support and broadcast rights that are essential to the success of our Studio Entertainment businesses.
The success of Studio Entertainment operations is heavily dependent upon public taste and preferences. In addition, Studio Entertainment operating results fluctuate due to the timing and performance of releases in the theatrical, home entertainment and television markets. Release dates are determined by several factors, including competition and the timing of vacation and holiday periods.
Consumer Products and Interactive Media
The Consumer Products & Interactive Media segment licenses the Company’s trade names, characters and visual and literary properties to various manufacturers, game developers, publishers and retailers throughout the world. We develop and publish games, primarily for mobile platforms, and books, magazines and comic books. The segment also distributes branded merchandise directly through retail, online and wholesale businesses. In addition, the segment’s operations include website management and design, primarily for other Company businesses, and the development and distribution of online video content.
The Consumer Products & Interactive Media segment generates revenue primarily from:
- licensing characters and content from our film, television and other properties to third parties for use on consumer merchandise, in multi-platform games and published materials;
- selling merchandise through our retail stores, internet shopping sites and to wholesalers;
- selling self-published children’s books and magazines and comic books to wholesalers;
- selling advertising in online video content;
- selling games and related content through app distributors, online and through in-game purchases; and
- charging tuition at English language learning centers in China (Disney English).
Significant costs include costs of goods sold, distribution expenses, operating labor, retail occupancy costs, product development and marketing.
The Company’s merchandise licensing operations cover a diverse range of product categories, the most significant of which are: toys, apparel, home décor and furnishings, accessories, health and beauty, stationery, food, footwear and consumer electronics. The Company licenses characters from its film, television and other properties for use on third-party products in these categories and earns royalties, which are usually based on a fixed percentage of the wholesale or retail selling price of the products. Some of the major properties licensed by the Company include: Mickey and Minnie, Star Wars, Avengers, Disney Princess, Frozen, Cars, Disney Channel characters, Spider-Man, Winnie the Pooh, Disney Classics and The Incredibles.
The Company markets Disney-, Marvel- and Lucasfilm-themed products through retail stores operated under the Disney Store name and through internet sites in North America, Western Europe, Japan and China. The stores are generally located in leading shopping malls and other retail complexes. The Company currently owns and operates 214 stores in North America, 87 stores in Europe, 53 stores in Japan and two stores in China. Internet sites are branded shopDisney and shopMarvel in the United States, shopDisney in Europe, and store.Disney in Japan. The Company also sells merchandise to retailers under wholesale arrangements.
The Company licenses our properties to third-party game developers. We also develop and publish games, primarily for mobile platforms.
The Company creates, distributes, licenses and publishes a variety of products in multiple countries and languages based on the Company’s branded franchises. The products include children’s books, comic books, graphic novel collections, magazines, learning products and storytelling apps. Disney English develops and delivers an English language learning curriculum for Chinese children using Disney content in 26 learning centers in six cities across China.
The Company develops, publishes and distributes interactive family content through apps and websites. Disney Digital Network (DDN) develops online video content, primarily for distribution on YouTube, and provides online marketing services. The Company also licenses Disney properties and content to mobile phone carriers in Japan.
Competition and Seasonality
The Consumer Products & Interactive Media businesses compete with other licensors, retailers and publishers of character, brand and celebrity names, as well as other licensors, publishers and developers of game software, online video content, internet websites, other types of home entertainment and retailers of toys and kids merchandise. Operating results are influenced by seasonal consumer purchasing behavior, which generally results in higher revenues during the Company’s first and fourth fiscal quarter, and by the timing and performance of theatrical and game releases and cable programming broadcasts.