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Disney+ subs growth slows

May 14, 2021

The Walt Disney Company has reported earnings for its second fiscal quarter ended April 3rd 2021.

Disney+, the SVoD service which has been a shining beacon for the company during the pandemic as its theme parks took huge hits, ended the quarter with 103.6 million subscribers, compared with 94.9 million on January 2nd. Analysts expected closer to 110 million subscribers.

In March, the service passed 100 million subscribers after just 16 months of operation, emerging as a genuine Netflix rival.

Meanwhile, Linear Networks revenues for the quarter decreased 4 per cent to $6.7 billion, and operating income increased 15 per cent to $2.8 billion. Domestic Channels revenues for the quarter decreased 4 per cent to $5.4 billion and operating income increased 12 per cent to $2.3 billion. The increase in operating income was due to increases in its Cable and Broadcasting businesses. International Channels revenues for the quarter also decreased 4 per cent to $1.3 billion and operating income increased 27 per cent to $348 million.

The company’s parks, experiences and products business – which includes its theme parks – saw a 44 per cent drop in revenue compared with a year earlier. That division reported an operating loss of $406 million.

Overall, Disney’s total revenue fell 13 per cent from the comparable 2020 period to $15.61 billion.

“We’re pleased to see more encouraging signs of recovery across our businesses, and we remain focused on ramping up our operations while also fueling long-term growth for the Company,” said Bob Chapek, Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “This is clearly reflected in the reopening of our theme parks and resorts, increased production at our studios, the continued success of our streaming services, and the expansion of our unrivaled portfolio of multiyear sports rights deals for ESPN and ESPN+.”

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