Disney Streaming Growth Slows, ESPN+ Subs Increase 66%

    • Disney saw revenue climb 26% year-over-year in its final fiscal quarter of 2021, but faced some headwinds on its streaming growth.
    • ESPN+ grew 66% to reach 17.1 million subscribers.

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Disney’s revenues climbed 26% in its last quarter of the fiscal year, though analysts expected more growth in its streaming networks.

The company brought in $18.5 billion in the three months ending Oct. 3, buoyed by a 99% increase in its Parks, Experiences and Products segment to $5.5 billion. 

Disney’s media and entertainment division drew $13.1 billion, representing 9% year-over-year growth.

  • Disney+ subscribers grew 60% year-over-year to reach 118.1 million.
  • ESPN+ subscribers were up 66% year-over-year to 17.1 million.
  • Hulu subscribers climbed 20% year-over-year to 43.8 million.

Still, Disney’s streaming networks lost $600 million in total, an increase from $400 million in the same period last year, largely due to high production costs.

Disney has looked into combining ESPN+, Hulu, and Disney+ into a single offering, but is partly limited by ESPN’s rights deals. 

It also explored spinning off ESPN, in part so the sports media company could make a more fulsome embrace of sports betting without conflicting with the rest of the brand’s family-friendly stance.

ESPN was reportedly seeking to license its name to a sports book in a deal worth at least $3 billion, as of September.

Disney’s stock dipped as much as 5% in after hours trading, before partially recovering.