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  1. #1

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    Michaels, Madden, and Oswald??

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11235692/

    The most important part of the article, obviously, would be this:

    "In exchange for letting Michaels out of his contract with ABC and ESPN, which are owned by The Walt Disney Co., NBC Universal sold ESPN cable rights to Friday coverage of the next four Ryder Cups, granted ESPN increased usage of Olympic highlights and sold to The Walt Disney Co. the rights to “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit,” a character in silent cartoons made by Walt Disney from 1927-28. "

    Finally, Oswald is coming home!!!

  2. #2

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    Re: Michaels, Madden, and Oswald??

    Quote Originally Posted by Collitinius
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11235692/

    The most important part of the article, obviously, would be this:

    "In exchange for letting Michaels out of his contract with ABC and ESPN, which are owned by The Walt Disney Co., NBC Universal sold ESPN cable rights to Friday coverage of the next four Ryder Cups, granted ESPN increased usage of Olympic highlights and sold to The Walt Disney Co. the rights to “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit,” a character in silent cartoons made by Walt Disney from 1927-28. "

    Finally, Oswald is coming home!!!
    Good hire for NBC for their Sunday Night Football package (Al Michaels and John Madden back together). As for Monday, while I love Tony Kornheiser on "PTI"...I see no reason why they (ESPN) couldn't have shifted over their already good Sunday night team of Mike Patrick, Joe Theismann and Paul Maguire over to Monday.
    And Oswald will make a dandy sideline reporter, I'm sure .
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

  3. #3

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    Re: Michaels, Madden, and Oswald??

    Walt would be very happy to have Oswalt back after having the character stolen from him in the 1920's.

  4. #4

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    Re: Michaels, Madden, and Oswald??

    What a bizzare part of the deal. What would Disney do with Oswald? I guess it's good to finally have him back in the Co., but honestly I'm not sure if Walt would want him after all these years. Oswald just doesn't seem to have the best reputation and other than the fact that the Co. can now do what they will with his legacy it just seems weird that it would even come up. Someone at the bargaining table had to of had it in mind, like we'll give you Michaels but we want Oswald back... strange.

  5. #5

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    Re: Michaels, Madden, and Oswald??

    I think it's actually another good sign that someone over at Disney (Iger or whomever) is keeping their eye on the little things. Oswald may be a bit of a footnote, but he was Walt's creation and it does seem appropriate to bring him back to Disney. And really, I can think of no other good reason to bring him back other than "he belongs here" (and perhaps a new Walt Disney Treasures DVD). The fact that they thought enough of it to insert it into what was purely a transaction between sports divisions is a very encouraging thing, in my opinion.
    "I'm working on changing Hollywood...at the studio that fired me twice."
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    Re: Michaels, Madden, and Oswald??

    Disney can certainly use this character and re-work him so that he has a personality that appeals to todays viewing audiences. He would probably be a characters aimed at children though. I think Disney should make him just as important as Mickey.

  7. #7

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    Re: Michaels, Madden, and Oswald??

    Why wikipedia.org is awesome, this is already been updated on Oswald's info page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oswald_The_Lucky_Rabbit

    In some ways it's good he is "back" to Disney but he was only at Disney for 2 years starring in 26 out of his 192 shorts. I'm kinda mixed on it, I mean he is a Disney creation and Walt did get kinda, for lack of a better word, screwed when it comes to Oswald, but I just can't get excited about it. It seems bittersweet in some ways. Curious to see if Disney does make a Treasures DVD of his 26 shorts or if they just lock him up in the vault. Disney only got the rights to "Oswald the Lucky Rabbit" they didn't get his film library from Universal too did they?

  8. #8

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    Re: Michaels, Madden, and Oswald??

    Makes a lot of sense to NBC... when was the last time that Universal made ANY money off of Oswald?

    It makes no sense anymore for Universal to use the character. It makes perfect sense for the rights to the character to be transferred -- finally, Universal can make something off of him! And, finally, Disney can stop putting him in as a footnote and acting like Alice is the start of the company, skipping to Mickey Mouse years later.

    Makes good for another Treasures release, too.
    -Tim

  9. #9

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    Re: Michaels, Madden, and Oswald??

    Quote Originally Posted by jurgenb52
    Disney only got the rights to "Oswald the Lucky Rabbit" they didn't get his film library from Universal too did they?
    That's a good question... and whether it's only the Disney shorts or if the Lantz shorts are included, too.
    -Tim

  10. #10

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    Re: Michaels, Madden, and Oswald??

    I think this deal was more to mend fences with the Disney Family...

    To quote MarketWatch

    This latest deal returns a long-lost character that some in the Disney family had cherished.

    "When Bob was named CEO, he told me he wanted to bring Oswald back to Disney, and I appreciate that he is a man of his word," said Diane Disney Miller, Walt Disney's daughter, in a statement. "Having Oswald around again is going to be a lot of fun."
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  11. #11

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    Re: Michaels, Madden, and Oswald??

    The Walt Disney Company Press Release


    WALT DISNEY'S 1927 ANIMATED STAR – OSWALD THE LUCKY RABBIT – RETURNS TO DISNEY

    Mickey Mouse's Predecessor Rejoins Disney's Family of Animated Characters through Agreement with NBC/Universal

    Burbank, CA (February 9, 2006) – Disney President and Chief Executive Officer Robert A. Iger announced today the return of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to The Walt Disney Company by agreement with NBC/Universal, the company that had previously owned the rights to Oswald since his theatrical debut in 1927.

    "As the forerunner to Mickey Mouse and an important part of Walt Disney's creative legacy, the fun and mischievous Oswald is back where he belongs, at the home of his creator and among the stable of beloved characters created by Walt himself," said Iger.

    "When Bob was named CEO, he told me he wanted to bring Oswald back to Disney, and I appreciate that he is a man of his word," said Walt Disney's daughter Diane Disney Miller. "Having Oswald around again is going to be a lot of fun."

    When Walt Disney opened his animation studio in 1923, he spent four years producing The Alice Comedies, a popular series of shorts featuring a live girl in a cartoon world. After four years, Walt created a new character – Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Walt produced 26 Oswald cartoons, which were distributed by Universal and well-received by audiences. However, on a trip to New York to renew his contract for Oswald, Walt discovered a clause in his contract that gave Universal ownership of his popular new character. On the train ride back to Hollywood, Walt was devastated but realized he needed to create a new character – one that he would own entirely – and during that long trip across the country, Mickey Mouse was born.

    This transfer of ownership is part of an agreement permitting sportscaster Al Michaels to contract with NBC. In the transaction ESPN also acquired significant programming and promotional rights, including telecast rights to the live Friday coverage of four Ryder Cup golf championships through 2014, expanded video highlights for the Olympics through 2012, video promotion for ESPN's Monday Night Football during NBC's Sunday night football through 2011, and expanded highlight rights for other NBC Sports properties through 2011.

    The Walt Disney Company (NYSEIS), together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with four business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment and consumer products. Disney is a Dow 30 company, had annual revenues of nearly $32 billion in its most recent fiscal year, and a market capitalization of approximately $51 billion as of February 8, 2006.
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  12. #12

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    Re: Michaels, Madden, and Oswald??

    Thanks for pointing out the MarketWatch story and the official press release. Like I said above, I think this deal shows that Iger is paying attention to the little things. It's yet another reason to really like the way Iger is running the place.

    Neither the story nor the release answers the question from before -- is it just the rights to the character, or does it include the rights to the shorts??
    Last edited by Doopey1; 02-09-2006 at 01:35 PM.
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  13. #13

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    Re: Michaels, Madden, and Oswald??

    That is Ironic... Without Oswald, there would be no Mickey... There is a certain poetic justice being done by Iger...

    Owning the rights means you own the library...
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  14. #14

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    Re: Michaels, Madden, and Oswald??

    Quote Originally Posted by Doopey1
    Thanks for pointing out the MarketWatch story and the official press release. Like I said above, I think this deal shows that Iger is paying attention to the little things. It's yet another reason to really like the way Iger is running the place.

    Neither the story nor the release answers the question from before -- is it just the rights to the character, or does it include the rights to the shorts??
    By Disney reacquiring the rights to the character, wouldn't that prevent NBC from ever distributing the shorts themselves? That's assuming that Disney didn't actually get the content. But go look at Darkbeer's other postings in the news section. It sounds like Disney got all of the Oswald content. Does anyone else think we'll get a Disney Treasures DVD release out of this?

    By the way... good on ya, Bob Iger. I couldn't imagine the previous CEO being the slightest bit interested.

  15. #15

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    Re: Michaels, Madden, and Oswald??

    The story posted in the News section clarifies it. Thanks, everyone, for setting me straight.
    "I'm working on changing Hollywood...at the studio that fired me twice."
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