Yhe following is the unofficial transcript of a FIRST ON CNBC interview with Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) CEO Bob Iger speaks with CNBC’s Julia Boorstin today, Thursday, November 8th on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” (M-F 3PM – 5PM.)
By mydisneyadventures (Flickr: Cinderella) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
JULIA BOORSTIN: Thanks so much. And Bob Iger thanks so much for joining us today, on this big earnings beat for you, both on the top and bottom line. Tell us what is driving this – this upside surprise for the company?
BOB IGER: Well, if you don’t mind, before we get to earnings, it has been a very difficult day in our country and in particular in our backyard in Southern California where 12 innocent people lost their lives through a senseless act of gun violence, including a heroic member of law enforcement. And these were people that were neighbors and relatives and our hearts go out to all of those victims. It is a very – just a very very difficult morning here.
BOORSTIN: Certainly a tough time in Southern California with this shooting. Now, moving onto your – to your results, big upside surprises, especially at the studio. What was driving that growth?
IGER: Well the studio had another record year with just incredible success across the board. And obviously a great, very strong film slate. And so that really helped drive not only our earnings for the quarter but for the year. No studio has ever done as well as our studio did in fiscal 18.
BOORSTIN: And tell me about the media networks division, particularly strong growth in broadcasting, but what’s going on at ESPN? What are you seeing in terms of cord cutting and subscriber losses, and also the ratings trends?
IGER: Well we are on a same war on the call just after this interview but ESPN had its best quarter in quite a while, in terms of sub losses. And what we’re seeing there is continued erosion in terms of traditional subs but the growth in the digital MVPDs continued through, not only the year but the quarter. And so the sub losses were bated substantially.
BOORSTIN: So does that mean you see a quarter either next quarter or in the future when you’ll actually start seeing the growth because of these digital MVPDs?
IGER: Well I – we are not going to speculate about the year ahead because it’s just begun. So it is a just little early. But the signs — the trends have been good for a while. And these were the best numbers we’ve seen in a long time.
BOORSTIN: And then in terms of the theme parks, it sounds like particular strength in the U.S., you’ve been making some really big investments both internationally and here at your U.S. Parks. Do you see those investments paying off? And what are you seeing in terms of consumer trends? Does the consumer seem confident that they’re spending more?
IGER: Well I think the results at …read more