Disney Sees 7% Revenue Gains Overall, ESPN Ads Down

Walt Disney scored mid-single-digit percentage revenue gains in its overall fiscal third-quarter results -- amid sharply improved theatrical movie business and higher broadcasting revenues.

Revenues rose 7% to $15.23 billion. Analysts were expecting $15.35 billion. Net income was 23% higher to $2.92 billion.

Total media networks grew 5% to $6.2 billion, while cable networks added 2% to $4.2 billion and broadcasting was up 11% to $1.97 billion.

Disney’s high-profile ESPN had a decrease in advertising -- impacted by one less NBA final game. Lower advertising revenue resulted from a decrease in viewing impressions in the period, somewhat offset by higher rates. ESPN had affiliate revenue growth.

Overall cable networks had an operating loss of 5% due to lower results from its digital technology platform BamTech, associated with the ESPN+ launch in April. In addition, there were lower advertising revenues and higher marketing costs at its Freeform cable network.



Broadcasting benefited from higher program sales, improved affiliate revenue and better advertising revenue. At the same time, Disney said programming costs grew, “driven by higher cost prime-time programming, including the impact of ‘American Idol’ and ‘Roseanne’ in the current quarter.”

Parks and resorts were up 6% in revenue to $5.2 billion, impacted through the loss of one week of the Easter holiday landing in the previous fiscal quarter.

Studio entertainment added a big 20% in revenue to $2.9 million. Disney posted strong results from U.S. theatrical distribution results of “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Incredibles 2.”

On the losing end, consumer products/interactive media was down 8% to $1 billion from lower licensing revenues and decreased revenues at its retail stores.

On Tuesday, Disney stock closed up 0.5% to $116.56. After dipping in after-market trading more than 2%, Disney stock inched up 0.09%.

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