Bob Iger Makes Rare Appearance At Disney Upfront For First Time Since 1994: Highlights 'Enviable Portfolio Of Brands, Franchises And Sports' To Advertisers

Zinger Key Points
  • Bob Iger attends Disney's Upfront advertising event.
  • Iger's appearance at the event is rare and could signal strength in the portfolio and/or a push to advertisers for deals.

Media executive Bob Iger has been the CEO of Walt Disney Co DIS for more than 15 years including two terms in the role.

The CEO hasn't appeared on the stage at an upfront advertising event since 1994 until breaking the streak earlier this week.

What Happened: Disney ended the recently reported second quarter with 117.6 million Disney+ Core subscribers on its key streaming platform.

While streaming continues to be a growth area for the company, Iger highlighted content on the company's linear networks during the advertising event.

"I am deeply optimistic about our company, and in a world that is so in need of entertainment is a true privilege," Iger said, as shared by Deadline.

Iger said he was there to share "the incredible projects that we're working on."

The Disney CEO last appeared on the upfront stage in front of advertisers in 1994 when Bill Clinton was the president and Iger was running ABC Entertainment.

"To say a lot has changed since 1994 would be an incredible understatement and I'm not just talking about the color of my hair, or my fashion choices."

Iger said that one of the things that has changed is television not just being watched on a television, a nod to streaming platforms.

The Disney CEO said that great storytelling is the key to any good content, whether it's on television in the traditional model or as a streaming exclusive title.

"And great storytelling is something Disney has always excelled that we have an array of outstanding creative engines, producing world-class talent."

Iger highlighted Disney's "enviable portfolio of brands, franchises and sports."

Related Link: Bob Iger Says Disney Slashed Traditional TV Spending ‘Pretty Dramatically’ As Streaming Takes Center Stage: ‘Feel Comfortable With Our Hand Right Now…’

Why It's Important: The appearance by Iger at the advertising event could be a strong sign by the media company in their portfolio of brands and content and could also be a push to lock in strong deals ahead of the upcoming television and streaming schedule.

Iger also spoke during the week at Moffett Nathanson's 2024 Media, Internet and Communication Conference.

The latest upfront event comes as Disney launched an ad-supported Disney+ platform and is working on acquiring full control of the Hulu streaming platform.

With multiple streaming platforms, some potential streaming joint ventures and bundles, and linear networks, Disney could be a key company advertisers want to lock hands with to get their products in front of consumers.

During the appearance, Iger said Disney is spending less on its television segment and content that is "specifically aimed at those traditional networks."

"We feel comfortable with our hand right now, because we're using those networks efficiently and effectively," Iger said.

Iger said shows like "Abbott Elementary" and "Grey's Anatomy" are moved quickly to Hulu and the costs are spread out across platforms.

DIS Price Action: Disney shares trade closed Thursday at publication at $103.37 versus a 52-week trading range of $78.73 to $123.74.

Read Next: Bob Iger’s Success At Disney: New Document Reveals CEO’s Biggest Wins According To The Man Himself

Photo: Shutterstock

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