HomeBroadcastESPN+ Subscribers up 66%, Disney Sports Betting Looms

ESPN+ Subscribers up 66%, Disney Sports Betting Looms

ESPN+ Subscribers up 66%, Disney Sports Betting Looms

Disney reported its fourth-quarter fiscal earnings on Wednesday after-the-bell, missing the expected targets Wall Street had placed.

The stock fell as Disney reported an increase of subscriptions to 179 million, an increase of 48% from the previous fiscal year.

The fiscal earnings saw 66% growth in Disney’s ESPN+ streaming service, reaching 17.1 million paid subscribers.

Bob Chapek, Disney CEO, outlined a plan to more than “double the number of countries we are currently into over 160 by fiscal year ’23” by “turning to sports”.

“We continue to build out ESPN+ with exclusive sports content that makes our DTC offering the perfect complement to the ESPN linear experience”, he said.

“In fact, all seven of the major deals we made in the last year and a half included a streaming component.

Among them is our historic 10-year NFL rights agreement, which begins in 2023.

We also recently signed a five-year deal with the league for Monday night wild card game, which runs through 2025.”

Another example is our seven-year rights deal with the NHL. 75 of the league’s live national games are and will be available exclusively on ESPN+ and Hulu.

And ESPN+ is the sole home for more than 1,000 out-of-market NHL games.

By the way, this is another reason that Disney bundle is proving highly appealing to consumers because live sports are a key element and a key differentiator of our Disney ecosystem. “

Bob Chapek said Disney was continuing to expand on its original sports programming, whilst introducing new shows.

“We continue to expand our original sports programming with innovative broadcasts like the hugely popular Monday night football with Peyton and Eli, which airs on ESPN2 and reached 1.9 million viewers by its second week, as well as the highly anticipated new shows like Man in the Arena: Tom Brady, the multipart docu series about the legendary quarterback premiering on ESPN+ on November 16, along with a host of fantastic new social and digital shows and podcasts,” he said.

Disney is also looking to expand through sports betting through its ESPN channel, said Bob Chapek.

“We’re also moving toward a greater presence in online sports betting.

And given our reach and scale, we have the potential to partner with third parties in this space in a very meaningful way.”

Chapek said that sports betting could help the company by attracting more revenue streams through a younger audience.

“We do believe that sports betting is a very significant opportunity for the company, and it’s all driven by the consumer.

It’s driven by the consumer, particularly the younger consumer that will replenish the sports fans over time and their desire to have gambling as part of their sports experience.”

Chapek was pleased with the growth in Disney’s sports channels outlined in the fourth-quarter fiscal earnings.

“Suffice to say, we continue to see enormous opportunity in sports and all of this, the rights deals, our innovative programming and the flexibility achieved through our DTC business, which saw ESPN+ subscribers increased by 66% over the past fiscal year alone.

All of this is a testament to the clear ambition we have in sports.”

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