ESPN Launches App for Pebble Smartwatches
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ESPN has officially unveiled its app developed natively for the Pebble smartwatch. The app launches in advance of the 2014-15 college football season and will include scores from across major professional leagues and college conferences including the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, college football and college basketball.

“The ESPN app for Pebble extends our presence on wearable technology and reflects a belief in product and content mobility,” said Ryan Spoon, Senior Vice President of Digital Product Management, ESPN.  “Whether it is a watch, a phone or a 65-inch TV, our focus is for ESPN to be there when fans are. This is another great example of that.”

Eric Migicovsky, CEO of Pebble, “The ESPN watchapp is a perfect example of how Pebble can take useful, glanceable information we care about, and make it more available and seamless in our everyday lives. Sports are a part of many peoples’ lifestyle and they want updates in real time. We are excited to partner with ESPN and bring this capability to our users.”

Pebble users can download the ESPN watchapp now in the Pebble appstore. It is compatible for both iOS and Android.

Users will then be able to pair their Pebble smartwatches with their smartphones through a simple user interface for quick access to scores of the top sports.

The Lion King Celebrates Sold Out Washington D.C. Engagement
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Disney’s THE LION KING continues to reign across North America with a sold-out run in Washington, D.C., which concluded on Sunday, August 17 at the Kennedy Center Opera House.  During the nine-week return engagement, the tour grossed more than $16.5 million at the box office, entertained more than 159,000 patrons and  celebrated its 5,000th performance, becoming one of the rare few touring productions to achieve this milestone.  The show’s nine-week premiere engagement in 2008 played a sold-out run in the Kennedy Center Opera House.

Also during the engagement, THE LION KING had the distinct honor of performing two songs for First Lady Michelle Obama and guests on Friday, July 18 at a Kids’ State Dinner at the White House.

Disney Theatrical Productions estimates that the Washington, D.C. engagement of THE LION KING generated a $53.9 million economic benefit to the city from travel, hotels, restaurants, parking and other businesses patronized by both theatergoers and production staff.  This figure is based upon a Touring Broadway League report which found that, on average, Broadway tours contribute an economic impact 3.27 times the gross ticket sales to the local metropolitan area’s economy.

“As the tour played its 5,000th performance, it is profoundly gratifying to reflect that THE LION KING has been entertaining and inspiring theatergoers throughout North America for the past 12 years,” said Jack Eldon, Vice President, Domestic, Disney Theatrical Productions. “We were delighted to celebrate this milestone in D.C. at the Kennedy Center Opera House, and were honored to perform for the First Lady at the White House.  The enduring response to the show is overwhelming and we are enormously thankful to the D.C. community and our partners at the Kennedy Center for another sensational engagement.”

The North American touring productions of THE LION KING have been seen by more than 15 million theatergoers and grossed over $1 billion to date. After 12 years on the road, THE LION KING continues to play to standing room only houses throughout North America.  The current schedule is listed below.

SEC Network Hires Gene Chizik and David Greene To Football Coverage
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The recently launched SEC Network, a national sports network devoted to the Southeastern Conference and operated by ESPN, has added former Auburn head football coach Gene Chizik and former Georgia quarterback David Greene to its football analyst roster. Chizik will be a studio analyst on Mondays and Tuesdays and Greene will host Film Room regularly airing Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET.

“The addition of Gene and David rounds out our SEC Network studio roster with a full slate of college football contributors from the offense, defense and coaching perspectives,” said Stephanie Druley, ESPN senior vice president, college networks. “Gene’s experience as a former head coach will provide viewers with unique insight into what’s going on behind the scenes, from weekly game preparation to in-game adjustments, and David’s many hours watching film and preparing as a quarterback make him a great fit for Film Room.”

Both analysts bring a depth of recent SEC football and championship experience.

Chizik’s first appearance as an SEC Network analyst will be Sunday, Aug. 31, as a studio analyst for the Utah State at Tennessee game. He will regularly contribute to the network’s news and information show, SEC Now,on Mondays and Tuesdays, as well as other SEC Network studio shows.

Serving as Auburn’s head football coach from 2009 to 2012, defensive coordinator from 2002 to 2004 and playing linebacker at Florida, Chizik brings a wealth of SEC experience to the network. He was named the Home Depot Coach of the Year and SEC Coach of the Year in 2010 after leading Auburn to an undefeated season, SEC Championship and BCS National Championship – its first national championship in more than 50 years. Chizik was the second coach in collegiate history to be recognized as both the Nation’s Top Head Coach (2010) and Nation’s Top Assistant Coach (2004). He has been a part of two BCS National Championships, three conference championships and three undefeated seasons over the last 10 years of his coaching career.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of the launch of the SEC Network,” Chizik said. “I’ve been in college football for more than 25 years and look forward to offering my insight.  I hope to give the viewers some inside perspective on game week preparation as well as shed some light on the different strategies that take place on game day. It’s exciting to be able to share some of that on such a tremendous platform.”

Greene led the Georgia Bulldogs to an SEC Championship title in 2002 and started as quarterback in 52 consecutive games 2001-04. During his college career, Greene set the NCAA record for most wins as a starting quarterback, and currently holds the SEC record for career passing yardage with 11,528 yards.

In his new role, Greene will sit down with a different head football coach in the SEC every week for an exclusive film session, breaking down X’s and O’s of game footage. His first show will be Wednesday, Sept. 3, airing a special time, 8 p.m.

“I am looking forward to being a part of the team and talking SEC football,” said Greene. “My goal is to bring a new layer of depth to fans on why teams are successful on the field and the mindset of a coach during a game.”

The additions of Chizik and Greene bring the SEC Network analyst pool to a total of five national championships and eight SEC football championships between them.

MDA Show of Strength Telethon Sets Celebrity Lineup
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The entertainment industry has once again joined together to lend support to the MDA Show of Strength Telethon, benefiting the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The 49th broadcast of the television fundraising event will air in primetime, SUNDAY, AUGUST 31 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on The ABC Television Network.

Delivering one-of-a-kind performances of their new, hit or classic songs are Grammy® winners Rascal Flatts and LeAnn Rimes, plus Aloe Blacc, American Authors, Bret Michaels, Fall Out Boy, Jason Derulo, Matt Nathanson, R5 and Sara Evans. The long-standing Labor Day weekend tradition combines performances and celebrity presenters to engage viewers with powerful “stories of strength” and moving calls-to-action to help families affected by muscle diseases.

Celebrity presenters on the telethon include Alyssa Milano, Brad Paisley, Charles Esten, Chris Powell, Jann Carl, Jordin Sparks, Josh Groban, Kesha, Kevin Frazier, Laila Ali, Ludacris, Nancy O’Dell, Pete Wentz, ABC’s Dr. Richard Besser, Susan Lucci, Terry Fator, Tom Bergeron and Victor Ortiz.

“MDA’s telethon gives us a chance to celebrate the compassionate support of our celebrity friends, sponsors and individuals in communities across the country who give generously to help save and improve lives of those fighting muscle disease,” said MDA President and CEO Steven M. Derks. ”With clinical trials of potential new therapies underway, this is a time of hope and progress for the children and adults we serve. We urge families and friends to gather together on Aug. 31 to watch, whether via broadcast or online, and see the fantastic performers and inspiring stories of those who are fighting muscle disease with grace and courage.”

Next week, telethon premiere parties will take place in communities in every state in the nation to rally MDA families, sponsors and volunteers, as well as to engage new supporters. Public service and promotional campaigns to help promote the show have already started to air.

While the telethon has consistently enjoyed robust support from some of the biggest celebrities in show business, MDA says the real stars on the broadcast are the individuals and families served by MDA, including five families who will share their stories and give the public a glimpse of what it means to live with a muscle disease during the 2014 broadcast.

The complete list of family profiles includes:

  • JoeJoe and Dominik Stoop, two energetic brothers, ages 5 and 3 respectively, from Los Angeles who are living withspinal muscular atrophy (SMA)
  • Torrance Johnson, an outgoing and charismatic 8-year-old from Canton, Mich., also affected by SMA
  • 13-year-old football fanatic Kasey Bennett of Houston who hasDuchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD)
  • Kate Pecora, 15, a mature young lady from North Reading, Mass., living with SMA and taking part in a promising new clinical trial
  • Eric Von Schaumburg, 31, from Chicago, who is battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)with a “take no prisoners” attitude, and help from his loving family and girlfriend Lindsay.

MDA supporters are encouraged to visit to enhance their telethon viewing experience. On Sunday, Aug. 31, the site will have an online telethon tote board keeping track of all donations associated with the televised fundraiser, including those made by national sponsors, direct marketing donors and through calls, texts and online donations made during the broadcast.

New this year, site visitors can submit their favorite MDA memories by sharing favorite stories and remembrances of how MDA and its telethon have touched their lives throughout the decades and years. The campaign is being tracked by the hashtag #MDAmemories and is being shared on MDA’sInstagram page and on

Additionally, visitors also can check out and share exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from the telethon with celebrities and MDA families and sign on to be a “Muscle Maker” for $11 a month. MDA social channels include Facebook at, Twitter at, Google+ at, Instagram at instagram/mda_usa and Pinterest at pinterest/mdanational.

College GameDay Season Preview to Air Saturday on ESPN
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Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard will kick off the season with a one-hour College GameDay Season Preview Special Built by The Home Depot on Saturday, Aug. 23, at 11 a.m. on ESPN. TheGameDay crew will provide their insights and preview the upcoming season.

The show will include predictions for conference champions, who’s in the race for the Heisman Trophy and which teams will be part of the inaugural College Football Playoff. Interesting tidbits from the show include:

  • Two of the analysts selecting UCLA to win the College Football Playoff National Championship
  • Corso, Herbstreit and Howard picking only one SEC team to advance to the College Football Playoff Semifinals
  • Corso stating that the Pac-12 is deeper than the SEC this year

The annual preview show is the precursor for college football’s longest-running and most-celebrated pregame show, which will begin and end the 2014 season from Sundance Square in Fort Worth, Texas. The weekly three-hour Emmy Award-winning show (Saturday 9 a.m.-noon ET) will open on August 30 in advance of the Cowboys Classic. The annual neutral-site matchup from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, will pit the defending national champion Florida State Seminoles against the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Saturday Night Football as part of DICK’s Sporting Goods Kickoff Week at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Fantasy Coming to Tokyo Disneyland
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Tokyo Disney Resort® announced that the special event “Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Fantasy” will take place at Tokyo Disneyland® Park from January 13 through March 20, 2015. This new event is themed to Disney’s major hit film Frozen. Guests will find opportunities to experience the beautiful world of Frozen, with family and friends. This special winter event will be presented only at Tokyo Disneyland® Park.

“Anna and Elsa’s Frozen Fantasy” is themed to the Disney film Frozen after Anna and Elsa reconciled and renewed their ties. Guests can enjoy the winter season in a lovely world of ice and snow created by Elsa’s magical power.

During the event period, the nighttime entertainment “Once Upon a Time” will be presented in a special version that features new scenes based on Disney’s Frozen. During the day, Anna and Elsa will make an appearance and greet Guests along the parade route to the music of “Let It Go,” the theme song from the film. Around the Park, Guests will also find special menus and about 25 different types of special merchandise, as well as decorations of snow and ice crystals that are reminiscent of the film’s atmosphere.


Wii Disney Infinity Players Can Upgrade to Wii U Version for Free
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Disney Interactive is giving Disney Infinity (1.0 Edition) Wii gamers the chance to upgrade their play experience to Wii U free of charge, exclusively through the Nintendo eShop. Starting today, fans who own the Disney Infinity Starter Pack on Wii can download the Wii U version of the game from the Nintendo eShop, complete with multiplayer. The Disney Infinity base and figures are required to play on Wii U once downloaded.

The Wii U version of Disney Infinity utilizes the Wii U GamePad to create worlds in the Toy Box and share them online. Activate missions and unlock toys in Play Sets to discover Monsters University, Pirates of the Caribbean and The Incredibles in high definition. Play as Sulley in his early student days in the world of Monsters University, plunge into adventure as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean, and activate the powers of Mr. Incredible on a quest to save the world from Syndrome and his super villains in The Incredibles Play Set.

Disney Infinity launched one year ago, and in that time the number of Wii U players has significantly expanded,” said John Blackburn, Vice President and General Manager of Avalanche Software. “Given our commitment to compatibility for our players, we wanted existing Wii owners to be able to experience the Wii U version of the first game for free. With the upcoming launch of the 2.0 Edition of Disney Infinity we want all Nintendo players to experience the game’s Wii U functionality.”

Top 10 Matchup Highlights 2014 GEICO ESPN High School Football Kickoff This Weekend
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ESPN presents the 2014 GEICO ESPN High School Football Kickoff launching its 2014-2015 high school football television coverage with nine games Friday, August 22, through Sunday, August 24. No. 8 Miami Central (FL) vs. No. 7 Hoover (AL) on Saturday, August 23, (12 p.m., ESPN) highlights a slate which features nine state champions and four nationally ranked reams. No. 1 Josh Sweat (DE) on Oscar Smith (VA) headlines the 28 participating recruits on the ESPN 300 and 10 verbal commitments to Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt. Six states will be represented and nine teams will make their ESPN debut.

The 2014 ESPN High School Football Kickoff preludes the 2014 GEICO ESPN High School Football Showcase, which begins on Friday, August 29, and continues through Thursday, October 23.

2014 High School Football Kickoff
ESPN 300 Participants (Seniors)

Rank and Player Position High School Verbal Commitment
No. 1 Josh Sweat DE Oscar Smith (VA)
No. 5 Kevin Toliver II CB Trinity Christian Academy (FL) LSU
No. 6 Trenton Thompson DT Westover (GA) Georgia
No. 12 Torrance Gibson ATH American Heritage (FL)
No. 29 Kerryon Johnson ATH Madison Academy (AL) Auburn
No. 41 Jeffery Holland OLB Trinity Christian Academy (FL)
No. 44 Tarvarus McFadden CB American Heritage (FL)
No. 49 Da’Vante Phillips WR Miami Central (FL)
No. 78 Kendrick Norton OG Trinity Christian Academy (FL)
No. 110 Jack Jones OG Oakland (TN) Tennessee
No. 157 Ben Edwards S Trinity Christian Academy (FL)
No. 184 Jauan Jennings ATH Blackman (TN) Tennessee
No. 196 Deontai Williams S Trinity Christian Academy (FL) Georgia
No. 212 Josh Smith OLB Oakland (TN) Vanderbilt
No. 219 Christian Bell DE Hoover (AL) Alabama
No. 254 Bradrick Shaw RB Hoover (AL)
No. 290 Tavares Martin WR Dwyer (FL)

ESPN 300 Participants (Juniors)

Rank and Player Position High School
No. 11 Dredrick Snelson** Wide Receiver American Heritage (FL)
No. 42 Isaac Nauta Tight End Buford (GA)
No. 76 Eli Stove Wide Receiver Niceville (FL)
No. 86 Romeo Finley Safety Niceville (FL)
No. 131 Mark Walton** Running Back Booker T. Washington (FL)
No. 146 Keyvone Bruton Safety Oscar Smith (VA)
No. 158 Malik Miller Running Back Madison Academy (AL)
No. 180 Jeremiah Moon Outside Linebacker Hoover (AL)
No. 208 Brandon Johnson Wide Receiver American Heritage (FL)
No. 231 Shug Frazier Defensive Tackle Buford (GA)
No. 269 Chris Barnes Offensive Tackle Lee County (GA)

** Denotes verbal commitment to Miami
ESPN 300 Rankings last updated July 31, 2014

Matchup and Programming Schedule:
Note: Team rankings are from USA Today

Date Time (ET) Matchup and Commentators Location Network
Fri. Aug. 22 6 p.m. Byrnes (SC) vs. Northwestern (SC)
Dave NealCraig Haubert
Rock Hill, S.C. ESPNU
  9 p.m. Leeds (AL) vs. Madison Academy (AL)
Adam AminJohn Congemi
Madison, Ala. ESPNU
Sat. Aug. 23 12 p.m. No. 8 Miami Central (FL) vs. No. 7 Hoover (AL)
Eamon McAnaneyDan Hawkins
Hoover, Ala. ESPN
  1 p.m. Westover (GA) vs. Lee County (GA)
Clay MatvickAnthony Becht
Leesburg, Ga ESPNU
  4 p.m. Niceville (FL) vs. Clay-Chalkville (AL)
Eamon McAnaneyDan Hawkins
Hoover, Ala. ESPNU
  9 p.m. No. 11 Booker T. Washington (FL) vs. Oscar Smith (VA)
Mike Corey, Rene Ingoglia
Chesapeake, Va. ESPNU
  9 p.m. Trinity Christian (FL) vs. No. 24 Buford (GA)
Tom HartMatt Stinchcomb
Buford, Ga. ESPN2
Sun. Aug. 24 12 p.m. Oakland (TN) vs. Blackman (TN)
Dave LamontDavid Diaz-Infante
Murfreesboro, Tenn. ESPN2
  3 p.m. Dwyer (FL) vs. American Heritage (FL)
Jason Benetti, Craig Haubert
Plantation, Fla. ESPN

Schedule subject to change
Previously announced Nixa (MO) vs. Helias (MO) game will not be televised as result of a schedule change due to weather

Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Street Party Coming to the Magic Kingdom
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The Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Street Party is coming to the Magic Kingdom replacing the Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party this Fall. This new evolution of the popular street party will feature party hits as well as a song that is selected by the crowd.

New character additions included Stitch and Phineas & Ferb while Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy appear on top of the giant presents.

The original street party premiered in 2009 as part of the “What Will You Celebrate” marketing campaign.


ABC Announces New Logo and Set for The View
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ABC’s commitment to reinventing their popular franchise, “The View,” and evolving the talk show creatively is underway and it’s all building to the much-anticipated season premiere onMONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15. It is shaping up to be a season unlike any in recent history.

As part of the reinvention, “The View” has taken up residence in the ABC Broadcast Center. The new studio will now house a visually stunning, contemporary state-of-the-art set designed in the round and offering the addition of an on-camera social media station allowing the hosts to interact in real time with viewers. “The View” will also be branded with a new color scheme and logo, marking the first time in the show’s history that it has changed significantly.


The first official glimpse of “The View’s” new direction hits national airwaves on Thursday, August 21 with promotional teaser spots.

As previously announced, Rosie O’Donnell makes her triumphant return to daytime television as a featured co-host of “The View” and will be seated opposite the show’s moderator Whoopi Goldberg. The stage is set for in-depth and opinion-shaping discussions and the chemistry between Goldberg and O’Donnell is both electric and undeniable. “The View” will stay committed to the original concept of smart women of different ages, experiences and backgrounds with diverse points of view engaging in thought provoking discussions derived from topics that face our nation and the world. “The View” is the original forum for lively conversations generated from entertainment, social media, politics, family, sex and relationships as well as beauty and fashion. Who will join this powerhouse duo and complete the dynamic panel? Stay tuned.

“The View,” is broadcast in HDTV and produced in 2-channel stereo sound. It is available to watch online daily at 4:00 p.m., ET/1:00 p.m., PT on “The View” is owned and produced by ABC.

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