Disney's Iger Hopeful For C7 Currency
Disney CEO Bob Iger said he’s hopeful the national-TV market will move toward a C7 currency with DVR-enabled viewing on the rise. Iger said the metric offers “an expanded look” at performance compared to the C3 measure currently used.
DVRs have been blamed partially for network ratings suffering this fall, including at ABC. The network has not landed a new breakout hit, but Iger said on an earnings call Thursday it has offered shows that are “quite serviceable and have potential,” notably “Nashville.”
The prospect of moving to a C7 currency -- commercial ratings for a live broadcast plus the ensuing seven days -- was raised last May at an upfront event by NBC executive Ted Harbert. Advertisers are unlikely to embrace a C7 push by networks.
Separately, Disney said Hulu’s advertising and subscription dollars were higher for the fiscal year ending Sept. 29. Yet higher programming and marketing expenses had the company incurring losses with its stake.
News Corp. and NBCUniversal are now the two other owners of the site, as a private-equity firm recently exited.
For the fiscal year, Disney cited the losses for its Hulu position and lower advertising dollars as reasons for a lackluster performance -- flat operating income at $915 million -- at its broadcasting segment. Hulu is a small part of the division’s operations, which are led by ABC network and eight owned stations.
In the fiscal quarter that ended Sept. 29, ad revenues dropped at ABC, although the Olympics on NBC could have played a role. ESPN’s ad dollars were flat, with the Olympics a factor.
In the current quarter, ESPN ad dollars are pacing down slightly. Scatter pricing at ABC is up in the mid-teens.