Disney targets streaming video after strong Q1

DetailsJoseph O'Halloran | 04 February 2015

After what was described as an incredibly strong quarter, the Disney Corporation is turning its attention to broadband users who aren't currently subscribing to a pay-TV or cable service.

DisneyFor its first fiscal quarter ended 27 December 2014, Disney reported revenues of $13.391 billion, up 9% year-on-year, driving a profit of $2.8 billion, itself up 19% compared with the same period in 2013.

Media Networks contributed $5.6 billion in revenues, climbing 11% on a yearly basis, and amassing a profit of $1.495 billion for the quarter, inching up 3% year-on-year. Of this figure, cable networks provided $4.166 billion in revenues and $1.22 billion in profits, up 11% and down 2% year-on-year respectively. The profit dip was attributed to underperformance at ESPN that was not fully offset by increases at the worldwide Disney Channels and ABC Family. Broadcasting offered $1.694 billion of revenues, an 11% yearly rise, and profits soared 35% year-on-year to $240 million.

"This was yet another incredibly strong quarter for our company, with diluted EPS up 23% driven by record revenue as well as significant growth in segment operating income," said Robert Iger, The Walt Disney Company CEO. "Our results once again reflect the strength of our brands and high quality content and demonstrate that our proven franchise strategy creates long-term value across all of our businesses." On the results' earnings call Iger added that Disney was seriously considering the launch of online video services for non-subscribers to cable TV services. "There is definitely an opportunity not just for ESPN but for other Disney brands to ultimately put a product in the marketplace that reach consumers directly. We think we have that opportunity with a Disney-branded service," he said.