The Disney CEO tossed in the possibility of new direct-to-consumer offerings in response to a question, in a call with analysts, about the company’s involvement with Dish Network’s new Sling TV streaming service. There’s “definitely an opportunity” for Disney to do something more involving ESPN as well as “other Disney brands…. We think we have that opportunity with a Disney branded service. We may have an opportunity with a Marvel type product and possibly even Star Wars.”
But don’t get too excited yet. He added that Disney is “mindful of the value of the expanded basic bundle to this company” and sees no reason to move quickly with an online product that might hurt the pay TV cash cow.
Dish’s Sling TV is designed to reach an estimated 12 million households that subscribe to broadband, but not pay TV. “We believe it’s a worthwhile experiment” to “try to convince younger people to sign up to cable when they either wouldn’t have signed up for it at all or might have waited.”
Over time, though, he wants to develop “a closer relationship to the consumer that can be mined for other revenue-generating purposes..… I think this is going to be larger and larger in terms of Disney’s future.” In addition to collecting data, Iger wants to “provide customers with experiences that they want and demand. Basically to be even more user-friendly, more customizable and personalized.” He added that company watchers will “see various initiatives aimed at achieving just that.”