New York Times - Business

Disney Plots Streaming, From ‘Star Wars’ and Marvel to Pay-Per-Sports

Mr. Iger said Disney is also working on five original, live-action, Disney-branded movies that will be delivered exclusively through the service. Additionally, it will offer a handful of original Disney-branded shows, several original TV movies, recent seasons of Disney Channel hits and 7,000 episodes of older shows.

The service will also roll out overseas.

“A very, very rich treasure trove” is how Mr. Iger described the offerings. He declined to say how much subscriptions would cost.

The ESPN service will arrive sooner — “sometime this spring,” Mr. Iger said — and include, as previously disclosed, thousands of events not currently shown on ESPN, including hockey, baseball, tennis, college sports. But Mr. Iger said that Disney is hoping to provide a different buying model, at least eventually. Rather than charging one price for subscriptions, Disney’s sports service may allow users granular control over what they pay to watch — “a season, a league, maybe a conference,” Mr. Iger said.

“Think about iTunes,” he hinted.

Disney also used the investor conference to set earnings expectations for its 2017 fiscal year, which will conclude in a few weeks. Mr. Iger said that earnings per share would be “roughly in line” with results for 2016, when it had per-share profit of $ 5.72. Higher costs related to a new N.B.A. programming deal and the lack of a major “Star Wars” movie will contribute to Disney’s flat 2017 results. Mr. Iger also said that Disney will feel some financial effects from Hurricane Irma, which has disrupted Disney Cruise itineraries.

Disney shares fell 4 percent after his remarks, to about $ 97.51 in midday trading. Contributing to the sell-off may have been a warning from Comcast at the same conference: Matt Strauss, a Comcast executive vice president, said his company expected to lose 100,000 to 150,000 subscribers in the third quarter. Analysts had expected a gain. Comcast shares traded down 7 percent, to roughly $ 38.26.

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