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Disney CEO Says ESPN Is Not For Sale

Disney CEO Says ESPN Is Not For Sale

Disney CEO, Bob Iger, has confirmed that ESPN is not for sale, despite predictions and calls from investors.

This comes as the company’s overall revenue hit US$23.5 billion for the three-month period ending Dec. 31, up 8% year-over-year, while the media and entertainment wing held steady at $14.8 billion in revenue, with a 1% increase from last year.

While the company saw a decrease in spending on NFL and College Football Playoff rights, they also experienced an increase in sports production costs, with Disney also expected to be a major contender in the upcoming NBA media rights deals.

Commenting on keeping hold of ESPN, Iger, said: We were fairly certain that when we created this structure, and broke ESPN out on its own, that it would lead to questions like this.”

“ESPN is a differentiator for this company.

“It’s one of the best sports brands in sports.

“It continues to create real value for us.

“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.

“We just have to figure out how to monetize it in a continuing, disrupting world.

“But we’re not engaged in any conversations right now or considering a spinoff of ESPN,” he said.

However, Disney’s linear networks saw a 5% decline in revenue to US$7.3 billion, with operating income falling US$244 million to US$1.3 billion.

Despite this, the company’s streaming revenue rose 13% to US$5.3 billion, with losses climbing to just over $1 billion.

ESPN+ saw a 14% increase in monthly revenue per subscriber, with 24.9 million subscribers compared to 24.3 million the previous quarter, which is in addition to Disney selling out its ad inventory for the NHL All-Star Weekend earlier this month, following its seven-year deal with the NHL in 2021.

The news comes after ESPN renewed the rights deal with Formula 1 until 2025.

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