New York (CNN Business)”Friends” will be there for you on Netflix through 2019, but the minor internet meltdown over a rumor that the show was leaving goes to the heart of the biggest question about Netflix’s short-term future: What happens if and when its competitors pull their most popular content from Netflix to make it exclusive to their own streaming services?
One show might not make a difference, but Disney and WarnerMedia, both of which are launching streaming services next year, hold the key to a huge trove of content that lives on Netflix. WarnerMedia’s “Gilmore Girls” and “The West Wing” and Disney’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” for instance, all had big fanbases when they lived on their respective networks and are now big draws for Netflix.
Disney is already the king of the box office. And if the company’s $71.3 billion deal for most of 21st Century Fox goes through, it will add even more big-name franchises — including Deadpool, the X-Men and Avatar — to its roster.
The end result: A company with clout unmatched by any other traditional movie maker.
This year’s box office sales show how formidable the new super-company could be. Thanks to “Black Panther,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Incredibles 2” and “Deadpool 2,” Disney (DIS) and Fox (FOXA) together control nearly half of the domestic market share so far in 2018, according to Box Office Mojo.
It’s a small world after all.
At least on Twitter. That’s what the Walt Disney Co. realized recently after Shannon Sullivan, an intern working in Magic Kingdom restaurants, tweeted a photo of a sign instructing Disney World employees how to respond to inquiries about alligators in the area.
Both the public and Disney employees have been on increased alert regarding alligators since the death of 2-year-old Lane Graves, who was snatched by an alligator last month while playing in a lake at a Disney resort.
Verizon has apparently hit a snag with regard to its efforts aimed at cord cutters. The cable TV provider recently introduced a way to purchase TV channel packages via à la carte bundles. But today, ESPN filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against which argues that Verizon’s move to break out ESPN’s channels into a separate sports tier that isn’t a part of the core package is not authorized by existing contracts.
ESPN had previously declared its unhappiness with Verizon’s new channel packages earlier this month, shortly after they went live for Verizon’s cable customers. The network a little over a week ago released a statement which claimed that Verizon didn’t have the right to release packages that removed ESPN from the core lineup.
With its new “cord cutter” bundles, Verizon is offering a $59.99 base package which consumers can add extra content on top of, as they choose.
According to Verizon, these TV packages are aimed at offering traditional cable subscribers more options when it comes to constructing the sort of channel lineup they want. It’s meant to stave off those who would otherwise want to drop their cable TV subscriptions entirely, or drop down to basic cable in an effort to save money.
Five workers at Disneyland have been diagnosed with measles in an outbreak that California officials trace to visitors at the Anaheim (Calif.) theme park in mid-December. Disney is urging its 27,000 workers at the park to verify that they’re inoculated against the virus, and the company is offering tests and shots on site for workers who are unvaccinated. “We’re doing everything that we possibly can to proactively communicate to our cast members,” said Disney spokesperson Lisa Haines.
Disney won’t, however, require workers to get routine vaccinations as a condition of employment. Almost no companies outside the health-care industry do. “Our policies are consistent with other employers’ policies on this issue,” said Haines, noting that airports, hotels, and other businesses whose staffs encounter lots of potentially contagious travelers don’t mandate immunization. She declined to say how many Disney workers have been inoculated since the outbreak. Three of the workers who caught measles have recovered and returned to work.
They bargained, fought, and bargained again. In the end, they decided their differences were irreconcilable and that it was time to move on.