Disney Considering 'a Few' Star Wars TV Shows, According to Bob Iger

3 things to watch as Disney reports first-quarter earnings

Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of Disney, has revealed that the company's ESPN Plus streaming service, set for launch in spring 2018, will cost $4.99 per month, with Disney's direct-to-consumer (DTC) service scheduled for "late 2019". Out of 15 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 9 are bullish on Disney stock, 5 remain sidelines, and just 1 is bearish on the stock.

Shares of Disney climbed after-hours on Tuesday and are up over 0.50% through mid-morning trading. The company's revenue grew 4% year-over-year (y-o-y) to $15.3 billion, primarily due to a strong performance in Parks and Resorts segment, partially offset by fairly flat results in other segments.

ESPN has faced declining subscriber numbers and ad revenue. The analyst believes it was "somewhat expected", so he remains unfazed that Studio revenue of $2.50 billion and Consumer/Interactive of $1.45 billion came up a bit short of consensus expectations. Disney cites the new tax law for a reported $1.6 billion benefit.

"If anything points to what the future of what ESPN looks like, it will be this", Iger says during the investor's earnings call while referring to ESPN Plus.

BAMTech, which Disney has invested billions of dollars in, and runs streaming for HBO, MLB, WWE (WWE - Free Report), will power this new service.

The success of Disney parks and resorts was driven by new attractions such as Pandora - the World of Avatar in Orlando, which helped increase attendance by 6% across the company's USA theme parks.

The entertainment giant said Tuesday operating profits soared 21 percent at its Parks and Resorts unit in the three months ended December 30 - on a 13 percent increase in revenue. This includes the live-action adaptation that was only recently confirmed after being rumored to be in the pipelines for years, at least one animated adaptation, and possibly more. Operating income fell 12% from $1.36 billion to $1.19 billion.

It's in the final stages, then, but as Iger notes, Disney is still seeking "regulatory approval" before it can dot the i's and cross the t's of what may well be the biggest and most historic film acquisition in recent history.

If the deal is approved, the Fox assets will allow Disney to "deliver more content", expand direct-to-consumer plans and "diversify its businesses geographically", Iger said.

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