Disney is approaching its 99th birthday, and the company is still finding ways to grow.
The media giant saw revenue rise 26% year-over-year, hitting $21.5 billion in the fiscal quarter ending July 2.
- Disney+ jumped to 152.1 million subscribers, vaulting analysts’ expectations of 147 million.
- ESPN+ jumped 53% to 22.8 million subscribers. Hulu rose 8% to hit 46.2 million.
- While linear was relatively flat, rising 3% year-over-year to $7.2 billion, direct-to-consumer media leapt 19% to $5.1 billion.
Disney’s stock rose around 6.5% after the earnings release.
The company also announced a new ad-supported tier for Disney+.
“We’re continually enamored by the power of sports in terms of viewership, particularly in an advertising-type world,” CEO Bob Chapek told investors. He mentioned Disney is “definitely interested in renewing” its partnership with the NBA.
Chapek hinted that an announcement about a partnership with a sportsbook could be coming soon to integrate betting opportunities with broadcasts.
“Our sports fans that are under 30 absolutely require this type of [sports betting] utility,” said Chapek.
Chapek noted that the company is considering what “ESPN would look like in a true DTC future,” adding that “we’ve negotiated flexibility into our new rights agreements.”
The company reportedly considered, then decided against spinning off ESPN, as it faces increasing competition from tech giants that can bundle a host of media and other services.