Iger's 2007 Goals: Revamp Web Site, Beef Up ABC, ESPN, Disney Across Platforms

Disney.com will be re-launched early next year--and try to be all things to all demos. A new Web feature will customize the interface to fit the user by age, according to Disney President-CEO Bob Iger, who spoke yesterday at a Goldman Sachs investor conference in New York.

The refashioned site, scheduled to go live in early 2007, will highlight different Disney characters, icons and links, depending on whether the user is a preschooler, tween or adult.

For example, a parent may customize the site for a preschooler and the entry points would focus on Mickey Mouse or Little Einsteins. Tweens, likely to engage in their own configurations, might encounter content linked to the Disney Channel hit "High School Musical" or the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise. Adults may find information on the latest films, family entertainment options or theme-park attractions.

While Iger doesn't expect the re-launched site to make a substantial contribution to Disney's bottom line in 2007, he said it will lay the groundwork for the expansion of the multifaceted "Disney" brand on the Internet. Iger has identified ABC, ESPN and Disney as the three brands the company will exploit on every platform, with their broadband operations serving as "the networks of the future for our company."

Accordingly, if DVRs, fragmentation and other hurdles reduce the number of linear TV viewers or theatergoers, then Disney.com, ESPN.com and ABC.com become critical on-demand distribution platforms. (The redesigned Disney.com will include an upgraded broadband player.)

"We don't view an ABC as just a broadcast television network today," Iger added.

Iger also reiterated his bullish projections of double-digit growth for ESPN annually through 2009. He said the strong showing of "Monday Night Football" on ESPN will be a key contributor.

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