The Walt Disney Company & Shanghai Media Group Expand Strategic Entertainment Alliance in China

Long-standing relationship to be broadened to include television content development, movie co-production, content distribution and marketing cooperation

Nov 21, 2014, 00:00 ET from The Walt Disney Company

SHANGHAI, Nov. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- At a meeting in Shanghai this week, The Walt Disney Company in Shanghai and Shanghai Media Group (SMG) announced they would expand their strategic relationship to include television content development, movie co-production, content distribution, and co-operation on marketing. The series of projects represents another significant step by both organizations to develop a vibrant creative content industry and connect with audiences in China and globally.

"The strength of this deepening relationship with Disney, and the volume and diversity of the initiatives that we are pursuing, helps set the foundation of a multi-faceted strategic alliance with Disney," said Mr. Li Ruigang, Chairman, Shanghai Media Group.

"The series of projects we are announcing today represents an exciting new phase in our long-term alliance. We believe that they will serve as the cornerstone of actualizing SMG's vision in applying world-class creative process; contribute towards the success of local content creation for international markets and create new business models across both digital media and traditional spaces. The endeavors will help us to transform the organization and accelerate its path towards digital success," Mr. Li added.

"Disney is committed to providing high quality entertainment experiences to audiences worldwide," said Mr. Robert Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. "SMG's spirit of innovaton, diverse platforms, digital destinations and assets provide unparalleled access to that entertainment in China."

Disney and SMG enjoy a long-standing relationship that would be expanded to include television content development, movie co-production, content distribution and marketing cooperation.

  • Born in China, a new Disneynature film currently in production in China, will showcase to the world the spectacular wildlife and natural beauty of China when it opens at the global box office in 2016.  Disneynature today revealed that the movie includes rare footage of endangered snow leopards. This film is in addition to the previously announced multi-year studio movie script and talent development fund between The Walt Disney Studios and Shanghai Media Group Pictures (SMG Pictures) with the ultimate goal of co-developing Disney-branded movies for US-China co-productions.
  • Disney is in active discussion with Toonmax to produce a kids' animation series that centers on one of China's most popular cultural icons. By combining the best talent, creative processes, and cultural insights from both sides, Disney and Toonmax will set out to create a top quality show for kids and families with an ambition for global distribution.
  • In 2013, Disney and BesTV New Media Company Limited (China's number one IPTV operator and the digital media subsidiary of the Shanghai Media Group) agreed to form, and today are in the final steps of registering, a joint venture company in Shanghai that will expand families' and kids' digital choices.
  • SMG and Disney intend to work closely on a number of marketing initiatives, expanding on their prior collaborations in television and film.

"This unique and far reaching cooperation between Disney and SMG is testimony to the strength of our 15-year relationship and commitment to serving audiences with world class family entertainment," said Mr. Stanley Cheung, Chairman, The Walt Disney Company Greater China.

Images Copyright (C) Disneynature 2014

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About The Walt Disney Company in China

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a diversified international family entertainment enterprise with five business segments with over 137 000 employees. Our first animation screened in China in the 1930s and today our long association continues with offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou with over 3000 employees.  Disney is a Dow 30 Company, had annual revenues of over US$48 billion in its most recent fiscal year, and a market capitalization of US$155billion as of 19 November 2014.

About SMG

Shanghai Media Group (SMG) is one of the largest media and entertainment company in China. SMG boasts the most valuable and comprehensive business portfolio including radio, TV, newspaper and magazine traditional media outlets, TV program/drama and motion picture productions and distribution, multiplatform video distribution such as IPTV and Internet TV, and online video offerings, digital advertising, online and console gaming, TV shopping and ecommerce , live and performing arts and tourism. By the end of 2013, SMG had RMB 44.6 billion in assets and RMB 21 billion annual income.

In terms of media outlets, SMG currently operates 15 satellite and cable networks, including news, entertainment, sports, finance, documentary, children networks, which are based on free-to-air advertising business model. Among them, the flagship channel Dragon TV is one of the most influential satellite TV channels in China, reaching 1 billion audience members in China and overseas markets, covering Hong Kong, Macao, the United States, and Canada. Meanwhile, SMG has 15 pay TV channels distributed national wide, only based on subscription business model.SMG also owns and operates 12 radio stations, including news, sports, finance, music stations ,and 8 newspapers and magazines. In terms of industrial development, SMG has two public listed companies: BesTV New Media and Oriental Pearl, with the total market value exceeding 70 billion RMB and ranking No1 and No2 in all public listed media and entertainment companies in market capitalization. Also, SMG runs the largest home shopping business in China. It also owns several landmark properties in the city including Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower. Looking forward, SMG will stick to its mission of "spreading uplifting power and enriching people's life" and strive to become China's most innovative media and entertainment conglomerate with global influence.

About Toonmax

Toonmax is China's leading company in children's programming and animation productions. It operates two TV networks including a satellite channel targeted at teenagers and a local cable channel whose core audiences are kids and families. Its businesses also encapsulate animation investment & branded exhibition, children's arts education, licensing and consumer products. It is a core member of the Shanghai Animation Association, a key national animation production enterprise and cultural export entity.

About BesTV

BesTV New Media Co Ltd (SHA:600637) is an A-share listed new media company controlled by Shanghai Broadcasting TV Station and Shanghai Media Group (SMG). BesTV New Media owns 100 percent equity of BesTV NetTV Technology Development Co., Ltd, Shanghai Media & Entertainment Technology Group and Shanghai Film, Radio & TV Production Co., Ltd. BesTV also controls Funshion Network, and has established a joint venture with Microsoft, Lenovo and ZTE Corporation. All of these have led BesTV to build the largest new media industry cluster in China. The company covers more than 20 provinces/cities in Mainland China and South East Asia with a new media business portfolio including IPTV, internet TV, smart TV, OTT and mobile TV, and established a presence in Asia-Pacific and Africa regions with technologies, equipment and film & television production channel.

About Disneynature

Disneynature was launched in April 2008. Its mission is to bring the world's top nature filmmakers together to share a wide variety of wildlife stories on the big screen in order to engage, inspire and educate theatrical audiences everywhere. Walt Disney was a pioneer in wildlife filmmaking, producing 13 True-Life Adventure motion pictures between 1948 and 1960, which earned eight Academy Awards®. The first five Disneynature films, "Earth," "Oceans," "African Cats", "Chimpanzee," and "Bears, "are five of the top six highest overall grossing feature-length nature films to date, with "Chimpanzee" garnering a record-breaking opening weekend for the genre. Disneynature's commitment to conservation is a key pillar of the label and the films empower the audience to help make a difference. Through donations tied to opening-week attendance for all five films, Disneynature, through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, has planted three million trees in Brazil's Atlantic Forest, established 40,000 acres of marine protected area in The Bahamas, protected 65,000 acres of savanna in Kenya, protected nearly 130,000 acres of wild chimpanzee habitat, cared for chimpanzees, educated 60,000 school children about chimpanzee conservation and funded research and restoration grants in US National Parks supporting conservation projects across 2.9 million acres of parkland and protecting endangered species. For more information about Disneynature, like us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/Disneynature and follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Disneynature

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SOURCE The Walt Disney Company



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