The Walt Disney Company said on Thursday that it is seeing “encouraging signs of recovery” across a wide range of its businesses, while its streaming television service has slowed compared to expected in the recently ended quarter.
TV streaming service Disney + ended the quarter with about 104 million subscribers, lower than expected but still part of a steady portion of “direct-to-consumer” services that saw viewers as people entertained due to the epidemic Turned to the Internet for.
Disney said it was seeing positive signs in its operations, including parks, cruises and resorts, which took the hardest hit.
“We are pleased to see more encouraging signs of recovery in our businesses, and we are focused on growing our operations,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek said in the earnings release.
“This is clearly reflected in the reopening of our theme parks and resorts, increased production in our studios, the continued success of our streaming services.”
Disney has set a target of reaching 230 million to 260 million customers by 2024.
“Disney + has been a huge success for the company, however, with growth declining significantly as the initial epidemic fueled,” eMarketer analyst Eric Hagstrom said.
Officials on the earnings call said that the production of the show is returning to full scale as it continues to invest in new content for its streaming services as well as theatrical releases.
Entertainment Titan’s franchises include Disney, Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars.
Disney also owns ESPN, Hulu and Hotstar.
“Hulu remains one of the market leaders in video ad streaming,” Hagstrom said.
“Hulu has become a major gem in Disney’s huge video advertising business with ABC and ESPN.”
La Liga on display
The company said on Thursday that American sports broadcasting giant ESPN acquired television rights for Spain’s La Liga in a record deal worth $ 1.4 billion over the next eight seasons, starting with the 2021-2022 campaign.
An ESPN statement said that each season all La Liga games will be available live through its streaming platform ESPN +, with select games on its traditional network.
The value of the agreement was not officially disclosed, but a source with knowledge of the deal confirmed to AFP that it was worth $ 1.4 billion or $ 175 million for each of the eight seasons covered.
“This deal strengthens ESPN-Plus’s position as the top spot for football in the United States,” Chapek said.
The relaxation of the wearing of masks by US officials on Thursday was welcomed as good news for Disney parks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) removed masked requirements for those who have been fully vaccinated against it, a watershed moment in the epidemic that has been recommended by the federal government for people to cover their faces in public. Comes after more than a year.
“Today’s guidance from the CDC … is very big news for us,” Chapek said.
“Especially if someone has been in Florida in the middle of summer with a mask – it can be quite difficult.”
According to Third Bridge senior analyst Joe McCormack, Disney’s parks and resorts are likely to take several years to return to pre-epidemic presence levels.
Disney reported revenue of $ 15.6 billion, down 13 percent from the same period a year earlier.
The company’s net income was stated to be $ 901 million.
Shares of the Los Angeles-based entertainment giant lost four percent in after-market trading, after which earnings figures were released.