With last week’s retirement of Bob Iger as chairman, CEO Bob Chapek is the sole leader of Disney, and he’s all-in on sports.
With a large suite of broadcast rights between ABC and ESPN and streaming services ESPN+, Disney+, and Hulu, Chapek is making sports a key pillar of the empire’s future.
“Live sports are a key element and a key differentiator of our Disney ecosystem,” Chapek told investors during the company’s fiscal fourth quarter earnings call. “Ninety percent of the most-watched telecasts last year were sports and they continue to perform extremely well.”
- Disney’s broadcast rights include the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, La Liga, and UFC.
- It is interested in buying rights to “NFL Sunday Ticket,” which could go for around $2.5 billion per season.
- It was reportedly looking to license its name to a sports betting company for $3 billion.
“My vision is to use Disney+ as the platform for the metaverse,” Chapek said in November.
Disney has a history of partnering with gaming companies to turn its intellectual property, such as “Star Wars” and Marvel content, into gaming franchises.
As for Iger, he’s reportedly interested in buying the Phoenix Suns.