Experiences, Streaming Lift Disney Q2


Direct-to-consumer and experiences gains helped lift The Walt Disney Company’s second-quarter revenues to $22.1 billion.

Total revenues were up by 1 percent from the prior-year quarter. Robert A. Iger, CEO, said the company is “delivering on our strategic priorities and building for the future,” in announcing the Q2 results. “Our results were driven in large part by our experiences segment as well as our streaming business. Importantly, entertainment streaming was profitable for the quarter, and we remain on track to achieve profitability in our combined streaming businesses in Q4.

“Looking at our company as a whole, it’s clear that the turnaround and growth initiatives we set in motion last year have continued to yield positive results. We have a number of highly anticipated theatrical releases arriving over the next few months; our television shows are resonating with audiences and critics alike; ESPN continues to break ratings records as we further its evolution into the preeminent digital sports platform; and we are turbocharging growth in our experiences business with a number of near- and long-term strategic investments.

Overall entertainment revenues were down by 5 percent to $9.8 billion, with linear networks slipping by 8 percent to $2.8 billion and content sales/licensing slumping by 40 percent to $1.4 billion, while D2C was up 13 percent to $3.6 billion. The linear networks took a hit in the U.S. and internationally amid a fall in affiliate fees and a weaker ad market. Disney+ reported a total of 117.6 million customers at the end of Q2, a 6 percent hike, with U.S. and Canada subs rising by 17 percent to 54 million, while international (excluding Disney+ Hotstar) slipped to 63.6 million. Disney+ Hotstar’s base fell to 36 million. Hulu gained SVOD subs, which rose to 45.8 million, but shed some live TV and SVOD customers to reach 4.5 million.

The sports segment reported revenues of $4.3 billion. a 2 percent increase. ESPN’s U.S. revenues were up 4 percent to $3.9 billion but international slipped by 7 percent to $341 million. Star India’s revenues were down 17 percent to $105 million.

Experiences revenues were up by 10 percent to $8.4 billion, with the domestic operations rising 7 percent to $6 billion while international surged by 29 percent to $1.5 billion and consumer products revenues increased by 3 percent to $913 million.