From Madden to Mickey

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ESPN and ABC are both owned by Disney. ABC did Monday Night Football since its inception decades ago, but next year for the first time, it will be on ESPN.

NBC, owned by Universal, is getting back into the NFL business too, with Sunday Night Football, which has been on ESPN the last few years.

John Madden and partner have been the announcers for Monday Night Football these last few years, but ESPN had other plans, so Madden went to NBC to do Sunday Night Football. Al Michaels wanted to go too, but was under contract with ESPN/ABC/Disney.

So a deal was struck. In exchange for letting Michaels out of his contract to reunite with Madden, NBC gave ESPN a few golf broadcast contracts, expanded rights for highlights for the 2006 Winter Olympics (which starts tomorrow), and the rights to ... Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

Oswald was Walt Disney's first cartoon character, created in 1927, for Universal. Oswald was highly successful and Disney wanted more money when his contract came up for renewal, but an agreement could not be reached, so Disney struck out on his own, but this time with a mouse character, later named Mickey.

Interestingly, if not for the Mickey Mouse Protection Act, Oswald's copyright would already have expired, and Disney would have had the rights to him anyway (or at least, the early films Walt Disney created). Of course, everyone else would have, too.

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on February 9, 2006 11:37 PM.

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