Could Sports Betting And The Metaverse Be Two Large Catalysts For Disney?

Media giant Walt Disney Co DIS highlighted the growth of its Disney+ streaming platform and for its parks segment when it reported first-quarter financial results. Investors also got insight from Disney CEO Bob Chapek about two new potential growth items for the company during Disney’s earnings call.

What Happened:  “We believe the opportunity for the Walt Disney Company goes well beyond these channels. It extends to sports betting, gaming and the metaverse,” Chapek said.

Chapek said that metaverse opportunities remain top of mind for the company.

“You can call it what you want. You want to call It metaverse, you want to call it the blending of the physical and digital experiences, which I think Disney should excel at for all the reasons that you said,” Chapek said in response to an analyst question.

The Disney CEO said the company continues to use its skills and people to hit on the “aggressive and ambitious technology agenda that we have.”

Related Link: Disney Q1 Earnings Highlights: Parks Segment Up 100%, Disney+ Hits 129.8M Subscribers, ARPU Increases 

Why It’s Important: Sports betting continues to be a rumored area of exploration for Disney, with Chapek’s comments looking like the company has plans in the work.

“The opportunity to build a sports machine akin to our franchise flywheel that enables audiences to experience, connect with and become actively engaged with our favorite sporting events, stories, teams and players,” Chapek said.

Disney owns the ESPN brand, which for years has been a dominant player in the sports space. With a large viewership audience and strong brand awareness, Disney could use the ESPN name to create a sports betting app and platform on its own or through a partner.

Rumors of ESPN exploring sports betting date back to 2021 with Chapek’s comments suggesting it could be in the works.

Many companies are exploring ways to boost their presence in the fast-growing non-fungible token and metaverse markets.

Disney recently posted several jobs that had NFTs in the descriptions.

Former Disney Chairman Bob Iger also recently spoke on Disney’s ambitions in the metaverse.

“I think something Disney is going to have to consider as it talks about creating a metaverse for themselves is moderating and monitoring behavior,” Iger said.

The comments from Iger came prior to Disney sharing any details of creating their own metaverse. Given Chapek’s comments Wednesday and Iger’s previous comments, it seems that the metaverse could be a bigger focus from the company than originally announced or realized by investors.

DIS Price Action: Disney shares are up 3.71% to $152.72 on Thursday.

Photo by pan xiaozhen on Unsplash

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Posted In: EarningsNewsSports BettingTrading IdeasGeneralBob ChapekBob IgerESPNmetaversemetaverse stocksNFTNFTsnon-fungible tokens
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