Published: Sat, November 11, 2017
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

Disney profit disappoints as cable TV woes, hurricanes take toll

Disney profit disappoints as cable TV woes, hurricanes take toll

Today on Disney's Q3 earnings call CEO Bob Iger gave a preview of ESPN's upcoming direct to consumer streaming service.

A wicked hurricane season, falling advertising sales and a cancelled movie sapped fourth-quarter profit at Disney, the company said, leading to the first drop in annual results since the financial crisis nearly a decade ago.

While this would certainly seem like fighting talk created to lure consumers over to Disney in favour of Netflix, Iger concedes the lower price "is in part reflective of the fact it'll have less volume", given it will be exclusively streaming content produced by Disney themselves.

Disney has announced that its ESPN streaming service, which it has dubbed ESPN Plus, will launch sometime in Spring 2018.

The service will launch with "a lot of high quality" content and will increase its price as the platform adds titles over time. It should be noted that these films are coming from the studios and not Disney Channel. "We can't wait to continue with this new series of films".

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Iger said Disney is considering licensing third-party content for the service, "provided the product fits with the Disney brand".

Disney is convinced that we're all going to make the migration though - so convinced that they are apparently spending over $300 million a year on this endeavour. It will also have original series and should be much cheaper than Netflix.

The earnings report comes amid Disney's alleged negotiations with Fox to acquire some of its entertainment assets. He said the new service will be separate from the ESPN service it is now developing and that ESPN content won't be accessible on it whatsoever.

The Marvel/Netflix partnership has given us some of the best stories in the MCU, but it looks that's all about to end as Disney begins its quest for streaming dominance. Disney says its service will include 500 plans from its popular library - including Star Wars and Marvel movies - and about 7,000 episodes of Disney TV. With the insane level of popularity their properties possess - and with a live-action Star Wars TV series now also announced for the service - it's easy to see why the studio considers this a solid investment. If you pay for cable, do you get to watch shows on ABC's site like you can now, or will they only live on Disney's streaming service?

The service will launch in the US.

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