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Disney earnings beat forecasts as more customers visit theme parks

08 February 2018

This new streaming service was announced by Disney's CEO Bob Iger where it will cost customers $4.99 a month and is expected to debut alongside a redesigned ESPN app.

Walt Disney's decision to recast itself as Netflix with theme parks looks scary. ESPN's advertising revenue declined 11% y-o-y in the first quarter, as higher rates were more than offset by a decrease in impressions.

Disney on Tuesday afternoon reported quarterly earnings results that beat Wall Street's expectations, although revenue came up short.

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"The strategic investments we've made have driven meaningful growth over the long term, and we remain confident in our ability to continue to deliver significant shareholder value", said CEO Robert Iger. The company will be finally able to make use of streaming technology BAMTech.

As well as a wide range of sports, ESPN Plus will feature the full library of ESPN Films, with Iger confirming that the broadcaster was creating a "robust" slate of high-quality original content exclusively for the platform. The figure was aided by the recent change in USA tax law, along with other one-time benefits that gave the company an additional $1.6 billion.

Meanwhile, Disney's coming branded app will have less content than Netflix because its content will be more appealing overall, Iger says.

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The company also announced it was expanding its "Star Wars" universe, hiring the creators of HBO hit "Game of Thrones", David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, to write and produce a new series of films set in the galaxy far, far away. Within the same app, consumers would need to be pay TV subscribers to access ESPN television networks on an authenticated basis.

Operating income for the studio declined 2 percent to $829 million, Disney said.

Several of its segments missed the mark on the revenue front as well, including its media and networks branch, which raked in $6.24 billion. "It's more likely than not that you won't see new co-finance deals but we will respect and honor the deals they have in place".

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In its first statement about the effort, Disney described it in broad terms, only confirming that the service will include a host of games from every major sports organisation in the U.S. and purchasable add-ons for those who want to follow individual sports like baseball, hockey, and soccer. The unit benefited by higher theatrical distribution results of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Thor: Ragnarok in Q1 versus Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Doctor Strange in the prior-year quarter.

Disney earnings beat forecasts as more customers visit theme parks