Disney Chief's CES Talk Heavy on Stars, Light on News

'Lost' Actors Explain Ubiquity of Show on Multiple Platforms

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LAS VEGAS (AdAge.com) -- Gizmos and gadgets are supposed to the main attraction at the Consumer Electronics Show, but this year content -- and the stars in it -- turned out to be the real draw.
Photo: AP

Robert Iger, Evangeline Lilly and Matthew Fox

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Jack and Kate talk tech
Guessing wisely that "Lost" fans were starved for show news after a two-month midseason hiatus, Disney chief Bob Iger invited two of the show's stars, Matthew Fox and Evangeline Lilly -- better known as Jack and Kate -- onstage during his keynote address last night at CES, which was light on news and high on fluff.

The camera phones went up and flashes went off when the celebrities took their places in a massive ballroom, which seated 4,200 at capacity the night before for Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates' keynote, but held about 2,500 for Mr. Iger's speech.

Bigger audience, business
The stars talked about how their show is all over every device -- and whether they'll hook up soon. (Don't hold your breath.)

Mr. Iger said that by making Disney shows available on iTunes, and "nearly every electronic device," those shows have been played more than 120 million times, "expanding our audience as well as our business."

"We're making it possible to find and enjoy great content quickly and easily and getting the balance right between convenience and pricing is a challenge that is facing all of us who create and distribute content in this digital world, especially where piracy is concerned," he said. "From my perspective, the best way to bring content to market is on a well-timed, well-priced basis."

The killer app
Mr. Iger called sports "a killer app for consumer electronics" and said sports fans listen to the genre for two hours a day. The synergies from the "Monday Night Football" property, which airs on Disney's ESPN also are striking, Mr. Iger noted, because the website gets 25 million page views on Monday nights. And although ESPN's venture into the cellphone business with Mobile ESPN flopped and was withdrawn from the marketplace, Mr. Iger noted that ESPN's cellphone applications still are on 8 million phones.

Mr. Iger's address also focused on the much-touted Disney.com, an important revamp for the company. The home page will feature video that might have "a commercial or two along the way," he said.

Last look at 'Lost'
Mr. Iger sprinkled his talk with video segments from the coming Pixar film "Ratatouille," the next "Pirates of the Caribbean" sequel and even joked with a look at the final episode of "Lost" while stars Ms. Lilly and Mr. Fox were onstage.

CES, which runs from Jan. 8-11, drew 140,000 attendees to see 1.7 million square feet of gadgets and gizmos ranging from an Elvis robot head to tiny textured covers for BlueTooth headsets.
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