Disney FY 1Q16 Earnings Call Notes

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Bob Iger

$3B in merchandise sales for star wars

“Breaking records at the box office is only the beginning. Global retail sales for Star Wars merchandise in the first quarter exceeded $3 billion, more than triple the global retail for this franchise in Q1 of last year.”

Actually saw an uptick in ESPN subs

“Turning to a subject that has gotten a lot of attention lately, ESPN and the status of the bundle. In the last couple of months, we have actually seen an uptick in ESPN subs which is encouraging. We’re also pleased with what we’re hearing from Dish about the response to Sling TV, a light package that includes ESPN. ”

Still seeing a tail on Star Wars M

“we did not bring new merchandise out for Star Wars until September 4 and the movie came out in December. So we’re still seeing quite a significant tail, even in this quarter, from the sale of Star Wars merchandise across the world.”

Sports are still very popular

“I think you have to conclude that sports is very, very popular in this country. And when you look at the percentage of people that access sports on television and across markets and that access it — across platforms, rather — and that access it on ESPN, it’s among the most, if not the most, popular programming out there. In fact, if you look at the studies that we’ve done among distributors, it’s number one or number two in terms of value creation for them for 16 straight years. If you ask consumers, they say the same thing, it’s number one or two in terms of the most valuable channels that they get.”

Subscriber losses have abated

“What I was talking about in terms of an uptick was recent. So the uptick that we talk about really didn’t have much of an impact on this quarter. So what we believe we’ve seen or what we have seen, recently is that subscriber trends going in the negative direction have abated somewhat. We’re not making any predictions about them going forward, because we really don’t know.

Tom Staggs

10th anniversary of Pixar acquisition

“Turning back to Animation, we just celebrated the 10th anniversary of our Pixar acquisition. Pixar and our incredibly talented colleagues there have positively impacted every aspect of our Company and contributed mightily to our success.”