Disney-Owned Moviebeam Service Launches This Week Amid Broad Industry Support

Burbank, Calif., Sept. 29, 2003 – The Walt Disney Company today announced the launch of its MovieBeam on-demand movie rental service. MovieBeam will give consumers instant access in their homes to recent DVD and video releases, as well as a wide variety of popular favorites, from almost all of the major studios.

This week, MovieBeam will launch in Jacksonville, Florida; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Spokane, Washington. Consumers in those three markets will have the ability to rent films from their homes without the inconvenience of trips to and from the video store and without the possibility of incurring rental late fees.

The MovieBeam receiver – manufactured by Samsung Electronics – is a first-of-its-kind device that automatically receives movies, stores them on its hard-drive, and gives consumers the opportunity to view them on their schedule. MovieBeam always offers 100 movies in full digital quality, and every week, about 10 new movies are transmitted via a digital wireless signal to the MovieBeam receiver’s small indoor antenna, replacing 10 titles. The data transmissions take the form of secure data streams and are sent through the broadcast spectrum of television stations owned by ABC and National Datacast’s network of PBS stations. MovieBeam will work whether or not a consumer has a cable or satellite television subscription.

The MovieBeam service will offer a broad range of movies, including popular action, drama, comedy and family titles. MovieBeam currently has agreements in place with DreamWorks SKG, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Miramax Films, New Line Cinema, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Studios, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox Studios and Walt Disney Studios. MovieBeam will feature current titles from all of these distributors in the “video-on-demand (VOD)” window. MovieBeam will also license library titles from several of these distributors. [There is an attached list of the 105 movies that will be featured on MovieBeam at launch.]

“MovieBeam provides a unique, new and convenient approach to watching movies at home and further demonstrates Disney’s commitment to using new digital technologies to develop new businesses that deliver content direct-to-consumers, generate growth and combat the threat of piracy,” said Peter E. Murphy, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Strategic Officer of The Walt Disney Company. “The innovative MovieBeam business model relies on existing broadcast spectrum to achieve significant bandwidth to the home with limited initial investment. MovieBeam also uses state-of-the-art technology from Samsung for this next-generation service.”

“Samsung is excited to be working with a talented team from Disney to pioneer this amazing breakthrough in digital home entertainment,” said Gee-Sung Choi, President of the Digital Media Network Business of Samsung Electronics. “MovieBeam represents everything Samsung is striving to accomplish as a global leader in digital convergence products. By making powerful new technologies available yet invisible to the user, MovieBeam conveniently delivers instant fun and entertainment for all who love movies. Samsung and Disney are transforming home entertainment technology as we know it.”

Key MovieBeam features and benefits include:

  • An ever-changing collection of 100 New Releases and Popular Favorites, containing a diverse offering of Action, Comedy, Drama and Family movies
  • An easy-to-use guide that lets viewers choose movies by Category, Title, Actor, Director or Rating
  • The ability to start movies whenever consumers want, 24 hours a day – with familiar controls like “stop,” “pause,” “fast-forward” and “rewind” – so consumers can enjoy the movies on their schedule
  • Free full-length previews, available for all movies on the service
  • Easy installation and use, requiring only a standard electrical outlet and a phone connection for billing (phone line used only once per week)
  • Compatibility with existing cable or satellite services – but does not require either; nor does it require an outdoor antenna
  • Parental controls to set weekly spending limits and to restrict access to selections based on Motion Picture Association of America ratings
  • No up-front equipment cost

Studio Support for MovieBeam
MovieBeam has received a broad level of Hollywood studio support.

“We are excited to make our films available through the MovieBeam secure and innovative service, which enhances the consumer experience by offering broad choice and greater convenience,” said Peter Levinsohn, Executive Vice President, Twentieth Century Fox Pay Television and Pay Per View.

“We are pleased to be an inaugural licensor to the MovieBeam service, which will offer consumers an new way to watch movies in the home and will help grow the movies-on-demand category by providing a complementary service to existing distribution methods,” said Jeff Calman, Executive Vice President of PPV & VOD of Warner Home Video.

Strong Retailer Support
Consumers can see a live demonstration, interact with the MovieBeam receiver, and sign up for the service at electronic retailers, including Best Buy, Circuit City, Sears, Huppin’s Hi-Fi, Magnolia Audio Video, RC Willey, Sound Advice and Ultimate Electronics. The service will have dedicated retail displays – with cutting edge Samsung LCD monitors – in each store. The display will include a working receiver that will enable consumers to experience the MovieBeam service and watch previews for all 100 movies available. Each retailer is working closely with MovieBeam to ensure that store employees are well trained in the features and benefits of the product. Each retailer will also be able to run a quick coverage check before sign-up to ensure that the consumer’s residence is within the MovieBeam signal footprint.

“We are excited to bring the MovieBeam service to our customers because it adds convenience and simplicity to the home entertainment experience and furthers our commitment to offering new technology and services to our customers,” said Kim Maguire, Executive Vice President, Chief Merchandising Officer of Circuit City.

“Sears is the third-largest retailer of televisions in the United States, and this new service from MovieBeam fits very well with our strategy to provide customers with convenient ways to watch movies,” said John Schlenner, Divisional Merchandising Manager of Sears.

Easy, Affordable Service
There is no equipment to purchase in order to sign up for the MovieBeam service. MovieBeam requires only a $6.99 per month equipment service fee and a per movie viewing fee of $3.99 for New Releases or $2.49 for Popular Favorites. This fee entitles the consumer to unlimited viewing of the title for 24 hours. There will also be a one-time activation fee of $29.99 required in certain areas.

Within two days of the consumer sign-up, the MovieBeam receiver, remote control and small antenna arrive via the FedEx delivery service with 100 movies ready for viewing.

Consumers can also run a quick coverage check and sign up for the service directly at www.MovieBeam.com.

Editor’s Note:
MovieBeam always features 100 movies, and movies are refreshed with about 10 new selections each week. Following are the New Releases that will be available on the MovieBeam service during the week of September 29, 2003 for $3.99 (listed in order of domestic box office gross):

  • The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers, New Line
  • Harry Potter and The Chamber Of Secrets, Warner
  • Chicago, Miramax
  • Catch Me If You Can, DreamWorks
  • Die Another Day, MGM
  • Bringing Down the House, Touchstone
  • Daredevil, Fox
  • Two Weeks Notice, Warner
  • Gangs of New York, Miramax
  • Old School, DreamWorks
  • Kangaroo Jack, Warner
  • About Schmidt, New Line
  • Shanghai Knights, Touchstone
  • Just Married, Fox
  • The Recruit, Touchstone
  • The Jungle Book 2, Disney
  • Final Destination 2, New Line
  • Phone Booth, Fox
  • Agent Cody Banks, MGM
  • Tears of the Sun, Sony
  • The Lizzie McGuire Movie, Disney
  • Head of State, DreamWorks
  • What a Girl Wants, Warner
  • The Hot Chick, Touchstone
  • Cradle 2 The Grave, Warner
  • The Pianist, Universal
  • Ghost Ship, Warner
  • Basic, Sony
  • Frida, Miramax
  • Piglet’s Big Movie, Disney
  • Biker Boyz, DreamWorks
  • Bowling for Columbine, MGM
  • Antwone Fisher Story, Fox
  • The Life of David Gale, Universal
  • Punch-Drunk Love, Sony
  • Deliver Us From Eva, Universal
  • A Guy Thing, MGM
  • Solaris, Fox
  • The Emperor’s Club, Universal
  • Gods and Generals, Warner
  • The Quiet American, Miramax
  • Dark Blue, MGM
  • Winged Migration, Sony
  • Femme Fatale, Warner Brothers
  • From Justin to Kelly, Fox
  • Laurel Canyon, Sony
  • The Guru, Universal
  • Spider, Sony Pictures
  • He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, Sony
  • Spun, Sony
  • Double Vision, Sony
  • Air Bud 5 – Air Bud Spikes Back, Miramax

Following are the Popular Favorites that will be available on the MovieBeam service during the week of September 29, 2003 for $2.49 (listed in order of domestic box office gross):

  • The Sixth Sense
  • Toy Story 2
  • Toy Story
  • Apollo 13
  • Three Men and a Baby
  • A Bug’s Life
  • Lethal Weapon 2
  • Lilo & Stitch
  • Dinosaur
  • Erin Brockovich
  • Good Morning Vietnam
  • Remember The Titans
  • Analyze This
  • Batman & Robin
  • George of The Jungle
  • American Pie
  • Maverick
  • Contact
  • Unforgiven
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Inspector Gadget
  • Dead Poet’s Society
  • Unbreakable
  • Scream 3
  • Fried Green Tomatoes
  • Backdraft
  • Cocoon
  • The Family Man
  • Romancing the Stone
  • Grumpy Old Men
  • Born on the Fourth of July
  • Bring It On
  • A Perfect Murder
  • Heat
  • End of Days
  • Babe
  • Lethal Weapon
  • Field of Dreams
  • Risky Business
  • Dave
  • Coyote Ugly
  • Beaches
  • Falling Down
  • The Terminator
  • Billy Madison
  • Boys on the Side
  • The Right Stuff
  • Cocoon: The Return
  • The Fabulous Baker Boys
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  • Dumbo
  • Mad Max

About the MovieBeam Service
The MovieBeam service, which is part of Disney’s portfolio of digital initiatives intended to enhance consumers’ entertainment experiences, is providing consumers with convenient in-home access to an ever-changing lineup 100 feature movies. MovieBeam Entertainment is operated by Buena Vista Datacasting, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS). The Walt Disney Company is a diversified, international family entertainment and media enterprise with affiliates including Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, The Walt Disney Studios, ABC, Inc., ESPN, Disney Channel, Disney Consumer Products, television and radio stations and Internet Web sites. Learn more about MovieBeam at www.moviebeam.com.

“Forward-Looking Statements.” Certain statements in this press release may constitute “forward looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are made on the basis of management’s views and assumptions regarding future events as of the time the statements are made, and management undertakes no responsibility to update those statements. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied. Such differences may result from a number of factors including changes in domestic and global economic conditions, performance of the new technology described herein, consumer acceptance of the technology, the development and acceptance of alternative technology and changes in the availability of product for distribution.