Disney, Pixar deal on horizon? Speculation emerges after Apple, Disney collaborate on sale of ABC programs on new video iPod.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A television distribution deal between Apple Computer Inc. and Walt Disney Co. that brought together CEOs Steve Jobs and Bob Iger has stoked expectations that a separate agreement between Disney and Jobs's Pixar Animation Studios Inc. is at hand.
Pixar shares rose as much as 3.7 percent Wednesday, rebounding from a sell-off in the media sector, after Iger and Jobs appeared on stage together to announce that Disney unit ABC would sell TV programs through Apple's (Research) iTunes Web site for viewing on computers and its new video iPod device.
"I know these guys," Jobs joked just before Iger strode on stage to join him at the Apple event. Iger, the new technology-focused chief of Disney, and Jobs both called it a watershed event bringing TV to the Web and said they expected more cooperation between their companies.
Their appearance also led many to guess that a new deal was in store between Pixar, which Jobs also heads, and Disney, that would extend their partnership for Disney to continue marketing and distributing Pixar's lucrative animated films.
A Disney spokeswoman had no comment on Pixar.
Jobs also declined Wednesday to comment on Pixar-Disney talks. But he did say: "I've enjoyed working with Disney for about 20 years now ... I've gotten to know Disney's CEO Bob Iger really well over the last few months."