Disney FY 3Q17 Earnings Call Notes

Bob Iger

The future is direct relationship between content creators and consumers

” It’s been clear to us for a while with the future of this industry will be forged by direct relationships between content creators and consumers. Given our incomparable collection of strong brands that are recognized and respected the world over, no one is better positioned to lead the industry into this dynamic new era, and we’re accelerating our strategy to be at the forefront of this transformation.”

Ending distribution agreement with Netflix

“With this strategic shift, we’ll end our distribution agreement with Netflix for subscription streaming of new releases beginning with the 2019 calendar-year theatrical slate. These announcements marked the beginning of what will be an entirely new growth strategy for the company, one that takes advantage of the opportunities the changing media and technology industries provide us to leverage the strength of our great brands.”

If we wanted to take ESPN direct we could

“I’m not going to comment specifically about the agreements. There are elements to the agreement that – well, first of all, if we wanted to take ESPN direct, we could. There are elements to the distribution agreements that we have that would cause us to if we were to bring the service direct to the consumer or create some – I’ll call them sub-optimal circumstances for us. I’m not going to get into detail about that. If we were to create a direct-to-consumer app that had the linear services, just as Netflix is distributed by multichannel servers out there or product out there, we would give our distributors an opportunity to distribute our app and other third parties as well.”

Creating content exclusively for the service

“But we’ve already begun the development process at the Disney Channel and at the Studio to create original TV series and original movies for this service. So if the Studio makes, let’s call it, roughly 10 films a year or distributes 10 films a year – that includes Marvel and Pixar and Star Wars and Disney-branded and Disney Animation. We’ve commissioned them to make, to produce more films with the incremental films being produced very, very specifically and very exclusively for this service. So this will represent a larger investment in Disney-branded intellectual property, both TV and movies.”

This gives us optionality

“I think there are forces, whether they’re technological in nature or sociological or economic in nature, out there that are changing the way media is consumed in general, and I don’t think this is either going to hasten them or exacerbate things in any way. What it does do, though, is a couple of things. First of all, it gives us the ability to leverage the strength of our brands, which a lot of our peers and competitors do not have. Secondly, it gives us what we’d call optionality. It’s a word I’ve not used very much in my life, but it gives us the flexibility, really, to move our product to the consumer in many new ways, ways that we’ve not been able to do before, because of just how strong this platform is that we bought control of.”

The Walt Disney (DIS) Q2 2017

Robert A. Iger – The Walt Disney Co.

The studio is doing well

“Our Studio’s extraordinary run continues. In fiscal 2017, we’ve already had two releases that topped $1 billion in global box office: Rogue One and Beauty and the Beast. With a strong opening weekend, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 just became the 15th consecutive Marvel movie to open at number one. It’s already delivered $156 million in U.S. box office, bringing the worldwide total to $456 million to date…we have an incredibly robust slate of great Marvel movies ahead with four releases in the next 14 months alone”

ESPN primetime audience increased

“Almost 80% of the people who connect with ESPN each month access the content on mobile devices. In Q2, ESPN’s suite of mobile apps reached a monthly audience of almost 23 million unique users who collectively spent more than 5.2 billion minutes engaging with ESPN on those platforms during the quarter. Mobile is clearly going to play a major role in the future of media…..ESPN’s primetime audience in fiscal Q2 was up 15% year-over-year, and the inclusion of out-of-home viewing and WatchESPN lifted that audience by another 10%. ESPN also delivered its largest first quarter primetime audience in five years according to Nielsen, which reports on a calendar basis.”

On cord cutting

“…give us a little bit of credit for being very candid with all of you on an earnings call two summers ago when we talked about sub losses in the expanded basic bundle. We did that because, one, we wanted to be candid; and two, we wanted to signal that we had our eyes wide open about what was going on and we fully intended to address what we were seeing and what we’ve continued to see…Those losses have come from cord-nevers, cord-cutters and what had been a migration to lighter packages on those platforms that did not include ESPN. It has been a blend, and it’s been fairly steady”

The future is buying what you want

“So while I think it’s possible that there’ll be an omnibus sports – multiple sports package offered direct-to-consumer, it’s more likely that consumers will have an opportunity to buy the sports they want when they want it as well.”

Disney FY 1Q17 Earnings Call Notes

Robert Iger

Have good visibility into film pipeline into early part of next decade

“Well, I think if you look at the record, Alexia, since we bought Pixar, which was a decade ago, we’ve made about 30 films under Pixar and Disney Animation because John Lasseter and Ed Catmull took over that, and then Marvel and then Star Wars or Lucasfilm. And those films have averaged about $900 million in global box office. So we’re not – I’m sorry, about $800 million in global box office. So we don’t think that there’s a coincidence to this, and while obviously because we’re dealing in a creative business there’s risk associated. We think that we’ve done a really great job of de-risking the business. Then that’s a combination of the franchises we have and obviously the stories that we’re mining, but also the talent that we have at the company or that we are attracting to the company to make those films. And we have a lot of visibility into the early part of the next decade of the film slate. And we feel great about the projects that have been chosen and the progress that has been made on them.”

Could extend stay if needed

“while I’m confident that my successor is going to be chosen on a timely basis and chosen well, if it’s in the best interest of the company for me to extend my term, I’m open to that. But there’s nothing specific to announce at this point. We have a good, strong succession process underway.”

Seems like we’re on the cusp of significant growth in over the top

“my confidence in ESPN is due to a number of things, but clearly the deals that we have done with new platform owners, mostly over-the-top, have already yielded some nice gains from those services in subs, but they’re not right now being counted fully by Nielsen. We’ve also done a deal with Hulu. And we have done a deal with another entity that has not been announced, and we’re in discussions with others. So it seems like we’re on the cusp of some significant growth for new entrants in the multi-channel marketplace. And what we like about them is they are mobile friendly or mobile first, their user interfaces tend to be very strong, and their pricing is priced substantially lower than the expanded basic bundle that most of the MVPDs are offering. And that obviously we think gives us a chance to both attract consumers that may not sign-up for multi-channel service or hold consumers into multi-channel subscriptions. And then lastly, what’s really important is the deals that we’ve negotiated for distribution, particularly for ESPN, are to be in all subs or all households launched. And so these are light packages that offer us 100% penetration from those packages. And so we think that this wave that we’re seeing is really a signal of what is to come and what the future will be”

We’re also excited about BAMTech

“I also want to say one other thing, Jessica. I mentioned it in my remarks, but I was at BAMTech a couple of weeks ago and the quality of that technology has just blown us away and the potential that we believe that has for us is enormous. As you know, we’ve invested so that we own a third, we have a path to control, we are extremely excited about the prospects of what BAM is going to be doing near-term. We will be launching a direct-to-consumer sports service sometime in probably calendar 2017, but we’re also very excited about what the potential of this is long-term, both for the company and for third-parties who can use the product because the technological side of it is so strong in ways that are value enhancing for them as well.”

Kids viewing less linear TV

“Todd, first question on kids programming, you’re right, we’ve seen a decline ratings-wise in kids viewing overall on linear channels. I don’t want to speak for the industry, but I’ll speak for Disney. And I think that’s the result of a couple of things. One, I’ll call it a bit of an off cycle in terms of programming; and two, a proliferation of kids programming in a variety of other places.”

Christine McCarthy

Merchandise sales lower despite strong hits

“At Consumer Products and Interactive Media, as anticipated, operating income was down meaningfully in the first quarter, given the record-breaking quarter the segment delivered last year. The decline in operating income was driven by lower results at our merchandise licensing business, as sales of Rogue One, Finding Dory, and Moana merchandise were more than offset by very strong sales of Star Wars and Frozen merchandise in Q1 last year. The strength of Star Wars last year also created a tough comp in our games businesses during Q1, given the success of Star Wars: Battlefront last year and no comparable title this year.”

Disney FY 4Q16 Earnings Call Notes

Bob Iger

Expect a robust slate in 2018

“We fully expect to return to more robust growth in fiscal 2018 and beyond, particularly given the powerful upcoming slates in our Studio. In fiscal 2018 alone, we have four new Marvel movies, three animated films from Pixar and Disney Animation, and two Star Wars releases, including Episode VIII which will also benefit our Consumer Products. ”

Too early to speculate about what changes in Washington mean for our business

“I think it’s really too early to speculate about what the changes in Washington are going to mean for our business or for businesses. We have, though, been exhorting Washington both the executive and the legislative branches to take a look at the current tax policy of the United States, particularly the corporate tax rate, and to close more loopholes but lower the corporate tax rate. We are no longer competitive with the rest of the world in that regard and that must be addressed. It’s possible that, given what’s gone on this week, that that’s likely to be addressed sooner rather than later. That’s obviously a good thing.”

Good that things are going smoothly. We’ve already prepared a bust of President elect trump for Disney World

“It’s also a good thing I think for the market and for most businesses that the transition is already off to what appears to be a fairly smooth start, meaning it looks like there’s cordiality, which we’ve not seen in a long time, and there’s an attempt by both sides, the incumbent and the President-elect, to approach this in a rational, cordial – I guess, the best way to – effective and polite way. That can only be good for business and for the country. And I think smooth transitions are good. I will say on the smooth transition front, we’re going through a smooth transition as well. We’ve already prepared a bust of President-elect Trump to go into our Hall of the Presidents at Disney World.”

Christine McCarthy

Fiscal 2017 will comp against a record breaking 2016

“I’ll remind everyone that results in fiscal 2017 will comp against a record-breaking 2016, due in part to the phenomenal success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

Disney at Goldman Sachs Conference Notes

Bob Iger – Chairman and CEO

Healthy consumer

“Generally speaking, we actually see a relatively healthy consumer in the United States, we see that through a few different lenses, clearly theme parks is probably the biggest one. And frankly our domestic business both Orlando and California is quite strong and we’ve seen no sign whatsoever of a consumer slowdown or issues with the consumer. And I’d say looking forward the same would be the case not just looking back, we will be more specific when we announce earnings in November but our advance bookings are relatively strong. On the other side we see is consumer products, for us that’s retail mostly that can be cyclical based on product we have in the marketplace but that’s been strong as well.”

Market could be moving to more narrow sports packages

“we think where the market could be going in terms of some of these sports is being able to buy at a very, very selectively, a specific sport, maybe even for a specific season or a specific date or a specific weekend, this is what Sky does in the UK for instance with a lot of its Premier League rights. And we think that that could be really interesting for fans that may not want to buy another bundle of sports rights but maybe want very specific sports that they’re willing to step up and pay for, again provided that gives them mobility and the ability to watch wherever they are.”

Shanghai has been successful

“We’ve had a fantastic opening for Shanghai starting with opening day. We are not updating specific numbers except I can say that had it not been for some typhoon-like weather there last week, the first 100 days of Shanghai would have delivered more in attendance than any park that we’ve ever opened. And in fact it delivered more in the first 100 days than most parks that we’ve opened over the history of our theme parks. ‘

Attracting people from outside of Shanghai

“And by the way, the other thing that we found that was interesting in the 100 days or so that we’ve been open, is we knew that Shanghai was a tourist destination for the rest of China, but our anticipation when we opened was that the attendance would be dominated by people from Shanghai and actually it was dominated by people from China, but outside of Shanghai and what that told us that was really interesting was that the marketing was really effective”

Tent-pole films strategy has worked

“when I got the job that we were going to make fewer films that we’re going to focus on quality over quantity. We had seen some very sobering returns at our studio over the prior decade in both live-action and in animation and looked at the industry and thought that returns in general across the entire US movie business were not impressive, and we thought one of the reasons for that is that too many movies were being made, too many bets being made, too much money being spent on at least at that point of the business that we didn’t think was expanding much with the volume of movies being released. So we said, simply, let’s make fewer and make bigger bets. We also thought that bigger bets, meaning tenfold films had the ability to be leveraged more across the world, particularly as new markets emerged and what’s happened over the last five years in China is a great example of that, tenfold films work really well there.”

29 films from acquisitions have averaged $800m at box office

“I mentioned a statistic like this, but we bought Pixar and closed the deal in 2006. Since then, after we bought Marvel and Star Wars, we released 29 films; make sure I get this right, under the Disney Animation because we turned Disney Animation [indiscernible] bought Pixar. Disney Animation, Pixar, Marvel and Lucas, 29 films since then. The average global box office of each of those films is a hair and I mean a hair under $800 million. So the returns that we talk about and not due to consumer products, but due to the success the direct success of those films and the fact that we’ve figured out not perfect science, obviously, and we have made some mistakes, but we figured out how to improve the odds of making good films and we also have a, you know, we’ve got great talent at our studio led by Alan Horn, but then what we’ve done is we’ve created these individual sub studios, Pixar, and John Lasseter and Catmull and they run Disney Animation, Marvel under Kevin Feige, and Kathy Kennedy running Lucasfilm”

Disney FY 3Q16 Earnings Call Notes

The Walt Disney (DIS) Robert A. Iger on Q3 2016 Results

The multichannel bundle delivers the most value to customers but there are new platforms

“The multichannel bundle delivers the most value to us and remains a great value proposition to consumers. Therefore, our top priority is to support it and to do what we can to maintain or enhance its value to customers. We also know that new platforms and new entrance in the digital video space are offering consumers more flexibility in variety with exciting new products and impressive user experiences. And we must create or take advantage of these new opportunities in ways that are complementary to the multichannel offering.”

Invested in BAM to scale streaming capabilities at ESPN

“With that in mind, earlier today, we announced a significant investment that provides us the technology infrastructure to quickly scale and monetize our streaming capabilities at ESPN and across our entire company. We’re acquiring a 33% stake in BAM Tech, the industry leader in video streaming, data analytics and commerce management. We have the option to acquire majority ownership in the future, and through this investment, we plan to launch a new direct-to-consumer ESPN-branded, multi-sports subscription streaming service.”

Starting production on Episode IX

“We’ve also just finished filming Star Wars: Episode VIII, we’ve begun production on Episode IX and work on two more stand-alone movies is well underway. This kind of great storytelling will always be our first priority, but bringing great stories to consumers in innovative ways is a very close second. ”

Sling is so skinny you can’t even see it

“That new Sling product is pretty skinny. I was going to say so skinny you can’t even see it. But I mentioned earlier on the call that a few new products have entered the marketplace without us, namely without ESPN. Sony was one. And had real troubles getting off the ground. And in Sony’s case, when ESPN was added they had a significant uptick in their subs. So I don’t want to suggest that Sling has to have ESPN. They’ll determine that. But as we look at the product that they’re offering, we really don’t believe that it’s going to have – it has a great future, because it’s lacking some of the most attractive channels that are out there. “

Disney (DIS) CEO Bob Iger Interview

Disney (DIS) CEO Bob Iger on how he effectively runs different movie studios such as Pixas, Lucasfilm, & Marvel

“The essence of what they do is they are extreme insiders at how they manage, how they care for, where their passions lie for their own storytelling, their own brands and the meaning of Star Wars and Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar, Disney Animation. No one knows and has more passion about those stories and storytelling and those brands than they do. And that contributes greatly to their successes. What I’ve really tried to do is to not disrupt that.”

Disney (DIS) CEO Bob Iger on the unique culture of Pixar

“I spent a full day at Pixar thanks to Steve Jobs and John Lasseter and Ed Catmull when I had broached to Steve the idea of buying Pixar. We began a conversation and I said, “I need to spend a day there. I need to go into the tent for a day.” And he said, “Absolutely.” I went completely alone. I didn’t have a piece of paper and a pen. I had nothing to take notes on. I met every director; they each pitched me seven or eight films. I met everyone. And my takeaway was that there was a culture there that was extraordinary. And that the worst thing that we could do as a company would be to destroy or damage it in any way. When we valued Pixar, everybody said we spent too much for those assets, but a large chunk of what we were valuing was what would happen if we could actually infuse in Disney Animation a culture that wouldn’t be exactly like Pixar but borrowed elements from it and ultimately turn the fortunes of Disney Animation around. Here we are in 2016, we look at Zootopia, which [grossed] a billion dollars coming off of Big Hero 6 and Frozen and Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph. It’s all rooted in the knowledge that Ed and John, the so-called outsiders to Disney but insiders to Pixar, brought to the table. Usually it’s the opposite: You buy a company and basically destroy the company.”

Disney (DIS) CEO Bob Iger on the challenges in the ESPN subsidiary and expanding its distribution

“Well, first of all, when people say “fix,” that usually suggests something is really broken, and it’s not. ESPN is not broken at all. ESPN, like a lot of other media entities, is facing challenges that they haven’t faced before that are due to some very obvious circumstances, which is technology’s effect on media both on the creative side, the distribution side and the consumption side. There’s more competition, the [power] shift from the distributor and the creator to the consumer is pretty apparent. And it’s critical to be as present as possible on all platforms, which ESPN is — but also to monetize them in as effective a way as possible. So what ESPN is exploring, they’re creating more product that can be sold directly to the consumer, while at the same time doing what they can to make the product they sell to the distributors as vital as possible. In terms of timeline, I can only tell you there’s a significant amount of work going on as we speak to move more ESPN product onto new platforms as fast as possible.”

Disney (DIS) CEO Bob Iger on whether he sees a correction coming to sports-rights TV deals

“There isn’t one in sight.  I last saw Twitter bought some [NFL] rights. Yahoo is bidding on rights. Who knows what Verizon will do. I don’t see one in sight.”

Disney (DIS) CEO Bob Iger said you need to focus on your own business

“I won’t speak for the entertainment industry. I speak for Disney. I’ve seen people in the industry come to work every morning paranoid about what the other person or other company is doing. That means you’re spending time and focus on somebody else’s business instead of your own.”

 

 

 

 

Source: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/bob-iger-interview-star-wars-905320

Disney FY 2Q16 Earnings Call Notes

Robert A. Iger – Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

2016 box office already at $3B globally

: This weekend, our 2016 box office total crossed $1 billion domestically, $2 billion internationally and $3 billion globally, reaching those milestones faster than any studio in history. Zootopia’s fantastic performance is just the latest in a string of incredibly successful original movies from our Animation Studios, including Inside Out, Big Hero 6 and Frozen, to name a few.”

iconic attractions reimagined for Shanghai Disneyland

“We set out to build something truly extraordinary and we’ve succeeded in a way that far exceeds our most ambitious expectations. We’ve re-imagined everything. Even our most familiar iconic attractions have been elevated and transformed with the help of cutting edge technology that allows us to take our creativity farther.”

Sorry about what happened with expected CEO replacement but no more to say

“ Tom was a valued colleague and a friend of mine and many others at the company. And so we’re sorry what came to pass, but we don’t really have much more to say about that. I will say that – or remind people that I have just over two years left on my contract as CEO of the company. And the board is very actively engaged in a succession process as it has been actually for some time.”

Wouldn’t be any problem with us going into the distribution business

“there are a number of our current distribution partners that are in the content ownership, content creation business, most notably Comcast and its purchase of NBCUniversal. So, we don’t think that there’s any negative impact whatsoever to us, going into the business of distributing our channels.”

See a very robust upfront

“ We see a very robust marketplace and a very strong upfront ahead, both for our broadcast network for ABC, and for ESPN. We’re very encouraged with what we see, but we’re not going to disclose what our strategy is going in.”

Never seen a better market to sell content into than SVOD

“I don’t think I’ll comment much about what we’re doing on the SVOD space. This is still a very dynamic marketplace and we continue to look for opportunities to sell our content. I will say that we’ve never seen a better marketplace to sell intellectual property into. And the strategy that we deployed a while ago to invest in the creation of intellectual property is one that we believe in even more today, and we’re going to continue to invest more in creating intellectual property.”

Kind of surprised that no one has asked a question about studio

“I want to add one thing. I’m actually kind of surprised that after almost 45 minutes of questioning, we didn’t get one question about our Studio. But I just want to reiterate that the Studio’s results were up tremendously in the quarter and up over 60% for the first two quarters of the year. They’ve had three movies in the marketplace, just recently, Zootopia, which is well over $900 million worldwide; Jungle Book, which is well over $700 million worldwide and climbing; and then Captain America, which had one of the best openings any movie has had in the history of the business. “

Disney at Deutsche Bank Conference Notes

Bob Iger CEO

10 Years ago when I came in I outlined the vision to the board that we should invest in high quality branded IP over distribution

“I will start with my thinking about 10 years ago, actually a little bit more, because I have been in the job for 10 years and went through pretty rigorous succession process way back and I had articulated the strategy to the board to convince them that they should give me the opportunity to run company. And I focused pretty heavily on what the world looked like then and what I thought it would look like and it seemed pretty clear that there would be a proliferation of distribution and with that proliferation of choices or intellectual property. So I thought, first of all, should we invest in distribution or should we invest in IP and it seemed pretty clear that distribution would be more and more of a commodity and while IP, you could argue would be a commodity, certain IP would not be and that was high-quality, branded, intellectual property. And that was what I articulated to the board. That’s who we were as the company if you consider back then, Disney and ESPN and ABC, but I thought we could do a lot more with our capital and with high-quality branded intellectual property.”

The early list included Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm

“early on we’ve put together a list of acquisition targets. I actually articulated a few of them to the board when they asked me like what, in other words, how could you expand. And the acquisition targets included Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm.”

There’s also been a definite strategy to diversify away from cable

“last thing that didn’t hit me right away, but pretty early on is that we were very heavily weighted in the direction of our Media Networks, cable in particular in terms of our value in our bottom line. And there was a definite, definite strategy to think about growing our other businesses or diversifying the company.”

We’ve made 26 films out of the acquired properties, 25 have been successful with average global box office of $750m

“So it was fairly straightforward in terms of the thinking. And just a few other facts that are interesting. Since we made the Pixar acquisition, we’ve made 26 movies – the Pixar, Marvel and Lucas acquisitions, we’ve made 26 films under those brand umbrellas and Disney Animation, because when we bought Pixar, we also used the talent at Pixar, John Lasseter and Ed Catmull to fix Disney Animation. The films that Disney Animation, Pixar, Marvel and Lucas has made, of the 26, 25 have been real successes. And I would ask you all to guess what the average global box office of those 25 – first of those 25 films are. The first 25, not including Zootopia, over $760 million, each one of those films has averaged.”

We were really careful to understand the creative soul of the businesses that we acquired and to protect that

“I had a fair amount of personal experience in basically the dynamics of an acquisition. Certainly when you are the acquired as opposed to the acquirer and one of the things that I learned is that you look at a company and assets and you value those assets and that sometimes the people, but you often overlook some of the dynamics of those companies that created the value that you are stepping up to pay for in the first place. Culture is one. I know that sounds sort of I don’t know granola-like in nature whatever, but culture can be a very, very important part of particularly creative entities, the value proposition of a company.

So I basically implied a deft hand to all three of them, spent a lot of time thinking about it in all three cases, what was the essence of the business, how did they create their value, what was the creative soul of these businesses, was it people, was it the brand, how they made things and tried really hard not to screw all that up, but to basically leverage – keep protected and leverage it.”

A lot of people thought we would kill the Pixar culture when we bought them

“there was a lot of skepticism when we bought Pixar because people thought that Disney would kill the Pixar culture. We would lose the key people and we would never make another good movie. And if you look at the success of those Pixar films over the years we haven’t done anything like that, the same with Marvel. There were a lot of questions about how could Disney own the Marvel brand. The people who are making the Marvel movies are the key management people over this creative processes are still doing that. They have a good place in our company in terms of their stature and the support that they get and the understanding they get from us. ”

We push really hard for perfection

“I don’t want to brag, but we spent a lot of time really thinking about the creative process and managing it in a careful way so that we are now encroaching on the process itself, but we’re pushing really hard for perfection. We are demanding basically to make things better. I learned a lot from Steve Jobs and from Ed Catmull and John Lasseter in Pixar and how they make their films and how they have a director and the idea comes from the director’s heart and passion, but when that director makes the film, he puts that film up in front of his peers and the peers go to work on giving him the feedback that he needs to make the film even better.”

Not seeing any softness in the US

“Not in the US, no. I think the conditions for all of our businesses actually worldwide, say for a few places is pretty strong. In the US, park attendance, advance bookings all very strong, the advertising marketplace is much stronger than we expected it would be. We’re not going to update our – what we said on the last earnings call but we gave some numbers that were certainly indicative of either a consumer or an economy that was stronger than a lot of people had considered. So, we’re feeling actually fairly bullish about our business prospects in this market.”

Some softness OUS though

“In Europe, there is still some softness although Star Wars, I don’t know maybe that defies all odds, had incredible results in Europe particularly in the UK, in Germany and in France. And consumer products has been fairly strong there too. Asia, Hong Kong has been soft, the theme parks had some difficulties this past year but we generally feel good about that market we feel very good about China and the prospects for Shanghai Disneyland, which I know you want to get into.”

Shanghai park will probably be largest at size of opening

“We’re probably about 90+ percent finished. We will open on time. It is big for an opening park meaning in terms of size it’s probably the size of – it’s the biggest park we’ve ever opened on opening day probably around the size of Tokyo when Tokyo opened, so many more attractions, more capacity in general.”

There are a lot of theme parks in China now, but none like this

“There are a lot of theme parks in China now. Some of them actually are impressive, they are good, but none of them have Disney IP and none of them are built at this scale, this quality, this attention to detail. And it’s quite amazing, very exciting, looking forward to sharing with everybody.”

We have lost patience as consumers. If we don’t find it right away we go elsewhere

“all consumers, we have lost patience when it comes to finding things and using things. And as soon as you hit a speed bump between yourself and something that you want, whether you’re searching for something or whether you want to watch something or buy something, as soon as you hit a speed bump, technologically or digitally, you go elsewhere. You just don’t want to tolerate it. And that’s something that I think the whole media industry needs to be mindful of”

Disney FY 1Q16 Earnings Call Notes

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.”