Disney's Bob Iger Confident In Landing Long-Term NBA Rights Deal As Media Giant Enhances Streaming With ESPN Tile And Shifts Marvel Strategy

The Walt Disney Co DIS is making significant changes to its streaming services and Marvel content strategy, with CEO Bob Iger expressing confidence in securing long-term NBA rights.

What Happened: The Walt Disney Company is making major moves to enhance its streaming offerings and superhero content strategy, while expressing confidence in securing long-term NBA rights, according to remarks from the CEO on the company’s second-quarter 2024 earnings call.

Enhancing Streaming with ESPN Tile

To drive further engagement on its streaming platforms, Disney announced plans to add an ESPN tile to its Disney+ bundle by the end of 2024. This will give all U.S. Disney+ subscribers access to select live games and studio programming within the Disney+ app.

“We see this as a first step to bringing ESPN to Disney+ viewers, as we ready the launch of our enhanced stand-alone ESPN streaming service in the fall of 2025,” Iger stated. “In addition to that, we do see bundling as an opportunity, sports bundling, which is why we’re putting the ESPN tile on.”

Pivoting Marvel To Focus On Quality

Iger also revealed that Disney is shifting its Marvel strategy to prioritize quality over quantity of content. The CEO acknowledged that some upcoming Marvel shows are “a vestige of basically a desire in the past to increase volume.”

Going forward, Iger said Disney will “slowly…decrease volume and go to probably about two TV series a year instead of what had become four and reduce our film output from maybe four a year to two to the maximum three.”

Confident In Long-Term NBA Rights Deal

On the sports rights front, Iger expressed optimism about securing a new long-term NBA rights deal for ESPN, stating “We’re confident or optimistic we’re going to end up with an NBA deal that will be long term in our best interest and the best interest of our subscribers.”

See Also: Majority Of US Social Media Users Make Influencer-Inspired Online Purchases, According To New IZEA Study

Why It Matters: The move to add ESPN to the Disney+ bundle comes as Disney’s direct-to-consumer segment reached profitability in the second quarter, a key highlight for analysts.

However, Disney’s second-quarter earnings also revealed moderating growth in its parks segment, which makes the shift in Marvel strategy and the addition of ESPN content particularly significant in the context of Disney’s broader business strategy.

Moreover, Disney’s ongoing negotiations with Comcast Corporation CMCSA to resolve a dispute over the valuation of its 33% stake in Hulu further underscores the importance of Disney’s streaming strategy in its overall business.

Price Action: The Walt Disney Co. closed at $105.39 on Tuesday, marking a 9.51% decline. However, the stock remains up 16.18% year-to-date, according to the data from Benzinga Pro.

Read Next: Tesla CEO Elon Musk Is Impressed By The Fact That Jeff Bezos’ AWS 12-Month Revenue Is Higher Than 466 S&P 500 Companies: ‘Wow’

Image Via Shutterstock

This content was partially produced with the help of Benzinga Neuro and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

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Posted In: EarningsEquitiesNewsGlobalMarketsMediaBob IgerESPNKaustubh BagalkoteMarvelNBA
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