ESPN Drags Disney

Sports network’s declines lead to lower fiscal Q1 revenue
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Continued subscriber losses at its flagship ESPN sports network coupled with fewer college football games in the period helped drag overall fiscal first quarter results at The Walt Disney Co.

ESPN lost subscribers in the period, continuing a trend that has weighed heavily on the company. Coupled with the change in timing of the College Football Playoffs – only three CFP bowl games were aired in the period, vs. 6 in the same period last year – and revenue at the Cable Networks division dipped 2% to $4.4 billion. Operating income at Cable Networks fell 11% $864 million from $975 million in the prior year.

Broadcast revenue was flat at $1.8 billion and operating income increased 28% to $379 million.

Parks and Resorts was the bright spot, with revenue up 6% and operating income increasing 13% in the period.

Overall revenue at Disney was down 3% to $14.8 billion and operating income fell 7% to $4 billion. Net income declined 14% to $2.5 billion.

“We’re very pleased with our financial performance in the first quarter. Our Parks and Resorts delivered excellent results and, coming off a record year, our Studio had three global hits including our first billion-dollar film of fiscal 2017, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” said Disney chairman and CEO Bob Igerin a statement. “With our proven strategy and unparalleled collection of brands and franchises, we are extremely confident in our ability to continue to drive significant value over the long term.”

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