Wednesday December 6, 2023

Disney Has No Plans to Spin Off ESPN

  • Disney saw its overall revenue grow 8% year-over-year to $23.5 billion.
  • The company saw both revenue and losses increase in streaming.
ESPN headquarters
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Disney CEO Bob Iger said there were no plans to spin off ESPN despite calls from activist investors. 

“ESPN is a differentiator for this company,” said Iger. “It is going through some obviously challenging times because of what’s happened in linear programming. But the brand of ESPN is very healthy, and the programming of ESPN is very healthy.”

The Mouse House saw revenues hit $23.5 billion for the three-month period ending Dec. 31, up 8% year-over-year.

  • The company’s media and entertainment wing held steady at $14.8 billion in revenue, up 1% from last year.
  • The company spent less on NFL and College Football Playoff rights, but saw sports production costs tick upward. Disney is expected to compete for NBA media rights in the league’s next set of deals.
  • Its parks segment brought huge growth coming out of the pandemic, hitting $8.7 billion, up 21% from $7.2 billion the previous year.

Disney beat overall revenue expectations, and its stock was up 6.3% in early after-hours trading.

ESPN+ Plus

Disney saw its linear networks slip 5% to $7.3 billion in revenue, with operating income falling $244 million to $1.3 billion. Streaming revenue rose 13% to $5.3 billion, but losses climbed to just over $1 billion.

ESPN+ ticked up to 24.9 million subscribers from 24.3 million the previous quarter and saw a 14% jump in monthly revenue per subscriber in that time to $5.53.

Disney sold out its ad inventory for the NHL All-Star Weekend earlier this month. The NHL returned to Disney after the two sides linked up on a seven-year deal in 2021.

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