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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Disney Cable Revenue Drops As ESPN+ Gains Subscribers

  • Revenue for linear networks — including ESPN’s platforms — went down 7% to $6.6 billion.
  • But operating losses at ESPN+ and Disney+ had decreased, partially because of a growth in subscribers at ESPN+ and increased pricing.
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Walt Disney Company saw a 13% revenue increase in its second quarter totaling $21.79 billion, the company announced on Wednesday. 

Its direct-to-consumer business also cut some of its losses, but revenue for linear networks — including ESPN’s platforms — dropped 7% to $6.6 billion. 

Domestic cable revenue dropped 4% to $5.6 billion due to higher production costs for the College Football Playoff and NFL games, as well as increased NBA media payouts and higher TV production costs.

Operating losses at ESPN+ and Disney+ decreased partially because of a growth in subscribers at ESPN+, as well as increased pricing. ESPN+ gained 400,000 subscribers during the quarter for a total of 25.3 million. Disney, however, lost 4 million subscribers at its Disney+ streaming service.

“From movies to television, to sports, news, and our theme parks, we continue to deliver for consumers while establishing a more efficient, coordinated, and streamlined approach to our operations,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said.

ESPN Layoffs

Despite the marginal improvements, the picture at Disney is far from rosy. 

The company has triggered multiple rounds of layoffs, many of which have affected ESPN. In doing so, Iger hoped to save $5.5 billion.

The first round at the sports network took place in April, where dozens of employees lost their jobs. Another round is rumored to take place this summer.

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