Disney Registers Solid Media, Movie Revs

Amid a strong quarterly earnings period for Walt Disney -- and recent TV-based media companies' calls for new Internet TV services -- senior company executives say the current pay TV system still works well.

Bob Iger, chairman/chief executive officer of Walt Disney, told CNBC that with regard to the efforts of CBS, HBO and Starz with stand-alone Internet services, “we don’t see that much change in the future.”

He says some 101 million U.S. pay TV homes are still a strong part of the business -- down only from 101.5 million. For its part, Disney has many digital internet options for consumers -- most of which link Disney networks back to pay TV subscriptions.

Defending the status quo, Iger said in its prepared remarks to stock market analysts: “Consumers in most markets can get a multichannel subscription with more than 150 channels and a wide array of diverse and quality programming for around $65 a month — a much greater value than a do-it-yourself portfolio of standalone options.”



Disney received strong business from its parks/resorts business, as well as from cable networks such as ESPN in its fiscal fourth quarter, with overall revenue as 7% higher $12.39 billion; net income 8% improved to 1.49 billion.

Disney’s media networks business climbed 5% to $5.2 billion. But the ABC Television Network suffered a bit. Disney says it had lower advertising revenue due to fewer units sold.

Disney’s parks and resorts were up 7% to $3.96 billion. Higher attendance and guest spending resulted from higher average ticket prices for theme park admissions, sailings at our cruise line and increased food, beverage and merchandise spending.

Disney’s studio entertainment unit -- particularly theatrical movies -- was 18% higher to $1.78 billion. Higher worldwide theatrical revenue came from “Guardians of the Galaxy and “Maleficent” in the current quarter, compared to “Monsters University” and “The Lone Ranger” in the prior-year quarter.

Disney witnessed major growth from consumer products -- up 7% to $1.07 billion, coming from strong “Frozen” and “Spider-Man” merchandise. On the downside, Disney’s interactive business was off 9% to $362 million in revenue.

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