Today’s Research Reports on Stocks to Watch: Activision Blizzard and the Walt Disney

Shares of Activision Blizzard and Disney went higher on Wednesday after both companies announced an agreement to bring Overwatch League to some Disney channels.

RDI Initiates Coverage on:

Activision Blizzard, Inc.

The Walt Disney Company

Activision Blizzard, Inc. shares closed up 3.18% on Wednesday with almost 7.6 million shares traded. The interactive entertainment company saw its shares climb after Wall Street learned that it and Walt Disney Co. have signed a deal to bring Overwatch League to several Disney channels including ESPN and ABC. The Overwatch League is a professional eSports league for the video game Overwatch, developed and fully controlled by Blizzard Entertainment. The 12 teams from cities across the world will all compete at an arena in Burbank, Calif. Though financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, ESPN wrote in a blog post that the multi-year contract amounts to "hundreds of hours of live and highlight programming" across the channels ESPN, ESPN2, Disney XD, and ABC. “The Overwatch League Grand Finals is by far our most comprehensive television distribution for an esports event over a single weekend: 10 total hours over four networks and three days,” said Justin Connolly, the executive vice president of affiliate sales and marketing for Disney and ESPN Media Networks. CEO of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues, Pete Vlastelica, said, "We’re excited to be working with ESPN and DisneyXD to bring Overwatch esports to an even wider audience." In the first six months of the year, Activision shares have seen a jump of about 20%.

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The Walt Disney Company shares closed up 1.90% on about 11.7 million shares traded yesterday. In the war to get Sky Plc, Comcast Corp. has upped its takeover bid to $34 billion. This is higher than the offer from 21st Century Fox Inc. Disney and Comcast are both going after 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets and Rupert Murdoch has a deal to sell the assets to Disney, which includes its 39% stake in Sky. Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Paul Sweeney remarked, "There is a possibility Comcast puts a lot of chips backing its Sky bid and is less aggressive in its pursuit of Fox." In other news, it was also announced that Disney and Activision Blizzard have entered into a multi-year agreement where Activision’s esports Overwatch League will broadcast live on both ESPN and ABC during the July postseason and beyond. ESPN executive Justin Connolly stated, "This overall collaboration with Disney/ABC, ESPN and Blizzard represents our continued commitment to esports, and we look forward to providing marquee Overwatch League coverage across our television platforms for fans.”

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Our Actionable Research on Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) and The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) can be downloaded free of charge at Research Driven Investing.

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