isney announced its fourth quarter financial results on Wednesday after the bell, missing the expected targets Wall Street had set.
The stock fell as Disney reported subscriptions surge to 179 million, up 48% year over year.
Tax revenue rose 66% on Disney’s streaming service ESPN + to reach 17.1 million paying subscribers.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek outlined a plan to double the number of countries we are currently over 160 in by FY23 by turning to the sport.
“We are continuing to expand ESPN + with exclusive sports content that makes our DTC offering the perfect complement to the linear ESPN experience,” he said.
“In fact, all seven of the big deals we’ve made in the past year and a half had a streaming component.
Below that is our historic 10-year NFL rights agreement starting in 2023.
We also recently signed a five-year deal with the league for Monday night’s wildcard game that runs until 2025.
Another example is our seven-year rights agreement 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 only home for more than 1,000 NHL games outside of the market.
By the way, this is another reason Disney bundles are very appealing to consumers, as live sports are a key element and differentiator of our Disney ecosystem. “
Bob Chapek said Disney is continuing to expand its original sports program while introducing new shows.
“We’re expanding our original sports program with innovative shows like the hugely popular Monday night football with Peyton and Eli, which airs on ESPN2 and reached 1.9 million viewers in week two, and the highly anticipated new shows like Man in the Arena: Tom Brady, the multi-part documentary series about the legendary quarterback that premieres on ESPN + 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 are also moving towards a greater presence in online sports betting.
And given our reach and size, we have the potential to work with third parties in this area in a very meaningful way. “
Chapek said sports betting could help the company by attracting more revenue streams from a younger audience.
“We believe sports betting is a very significant opportunity for the company and everything is consumer driven.
It is consumer driven, especially the younger consumer, who replenishes 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 described in its fourth quarter financial results.
Suffice it to say that we continue to see enormous opportunities in sport and all of this, the rights agreements, our innovative program and the flexibility that we have achieved through our DTC business, which in the past financial year alone resulted in an increase in ESPN + subscribers 66% registered.
All of this is proof of the clear ambition that we have in sport. “