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Disney (DIS) Q2 Earnings In-Depth: ESPN Slump Continues

Disney DIS just reported its second quarter earnings, and the massive media conglomerate is garnering plenty of attention today because of it. While Disney has its hands in a lot of things, perhaps the most intriguing part of today’s report is the new data from its Media Networks division.

Disney’s Media Networks, which includes all-day sports programming channel ESPN, has garnered a lot of attention over the past year or so due to increased competition from Netflix NFLX, Hulu, and Amazon’s AMZN Prime Video. ESPN and Disney’s other channels are inherently linked to cable subscriptions, meaning that the “cord-cutting” phenomenon has cut into the company’s revenues.

This problem is best represented by ESPN’s most recently announced subscription numbers. As of October 2015, ESPN had about 92 million subscribers, down about 3 million from a year before and 7 million from a year before that.

Last quarter, the Media Networks division brought in revenues of $6.332 billion. During the second quarter of last year, Media Networks did about $5.810 billion in revenue.

According to today’s report, the smaller Cable Networks category within the Media Networks division was down 2% in the quarter, further illustrating the decline of ESPN. The overall Media Networks category also came in under expectations, although Operating Income was up 9% year-over-year.

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