Bob Iger said Wednesday that ESPN is not for sale, though that possibility was explored by the previous regime.
He said he’d expected the question — which came on a call today with Wall Streeters after the company’s latest earnings — after news that Disney is splitting its businesses into three core segments, one of which is ESPN. But, “We did not do it for that reason,” he insisted, meaning to prep ESPN for a sale.
Disney is being restructured into three divisions: Entertainment, ESPN and Parks, Experiences and Products.
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The sports network, and related assets, “continues to create real value for us,” he said, despite challenges to linear programming.
Exploring a sale “had been done in my absence, and I am told that after examining that thoroughly” it was not something the company wanted to do.
“Actually, ESPN is a differentiator for this company. It is the best brands in television and it is one of the brands in sports. It continues to create real value for us,” he said. “The brand of ESPN is very healthy. And the programming of ESPN is very healthy. We just have to figure out how to monetize it in a continuing disruptive world.”
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