Bob Iger said today that ESPN is not for sale, although that possibility was explored by the previous regime.
He said he’d expected the question — which came on a call with Wall Streeters after the company’s latest earnings — after news that Disney is splitting up its businesses into three core segments, one of which is ESPN. But, “We did not do it for that reason,” he insisted. He said earlier that Disney is being restructured into three divisions — Entertainment, ESPN and Parks.
The sports network and related assetse “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 is the best sports brand and television is one of the best sports brand 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 disrupting and continuing disrupting world.”
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