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Viacom takes iPad rights fight to Cablevision

Viacom Inc.  said Friday that Cablevision Systems Corp.  lacks the rights to show its popular cable channels on the cable operator’s new live TV iPad app. Get the full story »

Disney begins work on Shanghai theme park

Dancers perform during the groundbreaking ceremony of Shanghai Disneyland. (Ally Song/Reuters)

Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert A. Iger was joined by Shanghai’s Communist Party chief and the city’s mayor Friday to officially commence construction of a long-awaited theme park that will give the Burbank company a critical beachhead in mainland China.

In a carefully staged groundbreaking ceremony interspersed with singing and dancing, Iger said the new park would feature a blend of East and West and underscored the importance of the $3.7-billion project for Disney. Get the full story »

‘Windy City Live’ to replace ‘Oprah’ on Ch. 7

From Tower Ticker | That new show moving into the 9 a.m. weekday slot on Disney-owned WLS-Ch. 7 after “The Oprah Winfrey Show” ends its run of original episodes in May?

It’s going to be called “Windy City Live” instead of “Morning Rush.”

Former Disney staffer sentenced in trading scheme

A former Walt Disney Co.  administrative assistant was sentenced to four months home detention Tuesday after admitting to engaging in a scheme last year to sell early access to the entertainment company’s earnings.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan alleged that Bonnie Hoxie, the former assistant to Disney’s head of communications, gave her then-boyfriend Yonni Sebbag information about Disney’s results before their public announcement last spring. Get the full story »

Easy URL unleashed Disney earnings leak

The Walt Disney Co.’s early release of its earnings report this month came down to a Dumbo move: The company made the information accessible on an easy-to-guess Web address.

Disney didn’t plan on posting the link on its site until after the market closed. But a reporter at Bloomberg News found it with simple Internet sleuthing and reported results about a half-hour before the scheduled release, according to a person familiar with Bloomberg’s practices. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Get the full story »

In race with Netflix, Hulu cuts price to $7.99

Internet video company Hulu slashed the price of its subscription service Hulu Plus, which made its official debut Wednesday. Hulu knocked down the monthly cost to $7.99 from the preview price of $9.99. Users who subscribed to the preview service, which was available in June, will receive a credit for the price difference, the company said. Get the full story »

Sony shares rise on Apple speculation

Shares of Sony Corp. rose nearly 3 percent at one stage on Tuesday as traders cited media reports speculating that the Japanese electronics maker could be a potential acquisition target of Apple Inc.

Helping to spark the speculation was a Saturday report in Barron’s that said cash-rich Apple could be contemplating a big acquisition and noted speculation about Adobe, Sony and Disney as potential targets. Get the full story »

Disney, NBC latest to block shows from Google TV

Three of the biggest U.S. television broadcasters have blocked their shows from Google Inc.’s new Web TV service, throwing a wrench into the company’s plans to expand from computers to the living room.

Spokespeople from Walt Disney Co. and NBC Universal confirmed Thursday that they blocked access to its broadcast TV shows from Google TV. Disney owns network and cable TV businesses ABC and ESPN. Get the full story »

Facebook, Amazon launch $250M startup fund

Betting that the future of the Web is in social apps and services, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, along with Amazon, Facebook and Zynga are launching a $250 million fund to help such startups grow. Get the full story »

Time Warner moves ahead on premium on-demand

Time Warner Inc. could offer premium video-on-demand as early as the first quarter for $20 to $30 per movie in a trial, the company’s CFO said Thursday.

Time Warner is considering making movies available for rent on pay television services shortly after their theatrical release and before their DVD release, Chief Financial Officer John Martin said at a Goldman Sachs investor conference in New York. Get the full story »

Apple in talks with media giants to rent TV shows

Apple is in talks with several media conglomerates to allow consumers to rent TV shows through iTunes according to a report in Bloomberg Tuesday, which cited three unnamed sources familiar with the situation.

Apple is in serious discussions with News Corp. to allow viewers to rent programming from its Fox network for 48 hours, the report said, adding that Walt Disney and CBS are in talks with Apple as well.

Representatives from Apple, Walt Disney, News Corp. and CBS declined to comment. Get the full story »

‘Toy Story,’ ESPN lift Disney earnings 40%

Walt Disney Co.’s  fiscal third-quarter earnings jumped 40 percent on deferred revenue at ESPN and hit movies including  “Toy Story 3,” as the media giant and theme-park operator’s results beat analysts’ views.

Shares climbed 1.5 percent  after-hours, to $35.75. The stock had risen 9.4 percent this year through the close, better than the broader market. Get the full story »

Disney sells Miramax to Filmyard for $600M

Walt Disney Co. has sold film studio Miramax for more than $660 million to Filmyard Holdings LLC, ending months of talks between the media group and various bidders.

Construction magnate Ron Tutor, investment firm Colony Capital LLC and other individuals are part of Filmyard Holdings, Disney said. Get the full story »

Hulu in talks with CBS, others for paid TV shows

Free video website Hulu is in talks with CBS Corp, Viacom Inc and Time Warner Inc to add their television shows to its planned paid subscription service, Bloomberg reported, citing people with direct knowledge of the discussions. Get the full story »