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SBD/February 8, 2012/Finance
Strong Performance From ESPN Helps Boost Walt Disney Co.'s Q1 Profit 12%
Published February 8, 2012
MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE: CNBC’s Julia Boorstin said advertising is flat for ESPN and ABC, as "higher rates are offset by decreased ratings." Boorstin asked Iger, "What are you going to do to help the ratings problem?” Iger: “ESPN’s story deserves a little bit of explanation. We had an NBA strike that got the season started later, so ESPN was deprived of games in the quarter, and the BCS shifted out from one quarter to the next. If you look at ESPN, the ratings are just fine at ESPN. We had some shifts in programming and in fact, if you black out those shifts ESPN’s advertising was actually up for the quarter” (CNBC, 2/7). RBC Capital Markets Managing Dir David Bank said the “revenue miss” in Disney’s earnings “was largely driven by the studio.” The ESPN advertising and affiliate fees were "pretty good, so it got a little lost in all this what’s happening at the studio" ("Squawk Box," CNBC, 2/7).