Iger touts digital in CES keynote


LAS VEGAS -- Walt Disney Co. president and CEO Robert Iger used old-fashioned star power to tout new-media strengths inside his company during his keynote address Monday at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and "Lost" stars Matthew Fox and Evangeline Lilly joined Iger onstage for a presentation plugging Disney brands from ESPN to the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise.

"We are witnessing an explosion of media, and Disney is reaping the benefits of that," said Iger, acknowledging the importance in maintaining trust in the Disney brand in what has become a crowded digital world.

Iger used the fact that ABC's hit "Lost" can be downloaded directly to a cell phone anywhere in the world as proof of the company embracing multiple platforms, while Fox described what effect those brand extensions have had on the show.

"The show is not so much about the 43 minutes it's on but the time the fans are interacting with others about it in the days after," Fox said.

Lilly said that that the increasing number of media platforms the show is on has put fans in the driver's seat.

"They have a lot more control over the show than we do as actors," she said.

Iger also was joined onstage by "Monday Night Football" announcer Mike Tirico, with both touting the popularity of ESPN.

"ESPN has demonstrated that sports is a killer application for a multitude of electronics," said Iger, noting the rise in viewers watching ESPN content in high definition, while Tirico noted the more than 20 original podcasts on ESPNRadio.com each week.

Iger's keynote ended with an appearance by Bruckheimer, who brought with him a sneak peek of the third installment of the "Pirates" movie franchise and confirmed the rumor that Rolling Stones' buccaneer guitarist Keith Richards is in fact in the movie.

Iger returned to the tech-themed topic at hand by giving the packed CES house a sneak peek of Disney's revamped Disney.com Web site.

The redesigned site, with new navigational tools and a prevalent video player, features Disney characters, games and a community environment built upon status and rewards.

"It's all things Disney in one place, and it's a great place for Disney to be," Iger said.