Thursday December 7, 2023

Disney Beats Expectations, Plans ‘NFL Sunday Ticket’ Bid

  • Disney brought in $21.8 billion in the fiscal quarter ending Jan. 1.
  • It plans to bid for rights to "NFL Sunday Ticket."
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks
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Disney saw 34% year-over-year revenue growth in the fiscal quarter ending Jan. 1, as the company looks to double down on football. 

The Mouse banked $21.8 billion in its fiscal first quarter of 2022, beating expectations on earnings and subscriber growth.

  • ESPN+ surged to 21.3 million subscribers, up 24.6% quarter-over-quarter and 76% year-over-year.
  • Disney+ subscribers reached 129.8 million, up 11.7 million from the previous quarter and 37% year-over-year.

Chairman and CEO Bob Chapek confirmed that Disney plans to bid on “NFL Sunday Ticket,” which could fetch $2.5 billion per season. 

The company also re-upped with two of its favorite broadcasters by extending its deal with Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions, adding a fourth year to its “Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli” show, better known as the ManningCast.

The Price of Rights

Last month, Disney struck a deal to exclusively broadcast English Premier League games in 10 South American countries.

Disney is also believed to want a new deal for Indian Premier League rights, expected to top $5 billion over five years.

The company’s broadcast rights include the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, La Liga, and UFC.

While revenue from its linear media networks were flat at $7.7 billion, Disney saw impressive growth in streaming, as its direct-to-consumer channels grew 34% to $4.7 billion. Streaming remains a money loser, however, with a $593 million operating loss.

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