Earnings call

TV Stations Pacing Up In Disney Fiscal 1Q

SVP-CFO Jay Rasulo told analysts Thursday that “at the ABC Network, quarter-to-date scatter pricing is pacing in mid-teens above upfront levels. ESPN ad sales are pacing down modestly and ABC Family ad sales are pacing up high single digits. TV station ad sales are pacing up in single digits as well.”
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Business is looking better in the current quarter — the fiscal first quarter — for the broadcast operation at the Walt Disney Co., following an earnings decline in 4Q to close out the past year (ended Sept. 29).

“At the ABC Network quarter-to-date scatter pricing is pacing in mid-teens above upfront levels. ESPN ad sales are pacing down modestly and ABC Family ad sales are pacing up high single digits. TV station ad sales are pacing up in single digits as well,” SVP-CFO Jay Rasulo told analysts in Thursday’s quarterly conference call.

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During the Q&A session with Wall Street analysts, Disney Chairman-CEO Bob Iger was asked about the ratings decline for the ABC Network for the beginning of the new television season.

“Two things: One, the greater penetration of DVRs and the greater usage of DVRs, which clearly have shifted the rating pie in the direction of C3 and ultimately, hopefully, C7, ‘cause I think it speaks for an expanded look from a Nielsen and advertising perspective at seven days versus three,” Iger said of ABC’s ratings.

“And I think the other story is that there seems to be somewhat of an absence of what I’ll call a new, real buzz-worthy hit. And because of that, I would say it would be premature to either write the epitaph or suggest that we’re seeing a trend. We’ve seen years where the presence of a big hit — by the way, as in the case with NBC, you look at the impact of The Voice on their schedule, it’s improved the numbers dramatically. So, I think, I have to believe that ABC’s schedule is pretty solid. Their Sunday schedule with Once Upon A Time and Revenge is working and they’ve got Modern Family and Grey’s and other shows with a real strong base. Their ratings from a C3 perspective, without sports, are down in the 7%-to-8% range, which I don’t consider to be that noteworthy,” the CEO said.

“Would I like ABC to have put on the schedule a really big hit at the beginning of the year? Of course. But they’ve put on a few shows that I think are quite serviceable and have potential, Nashville being one,” Iger said of the ABC schedule.

Brand Connections

Fiscal 4Q earnings for Disney were right in line with Wall Street expectations, with net income up 14% to $1.24 billion. The parks and resorts sector led the way, with broadcasting making fewer profits on slightly higher revenues.

“Operating income at broadcasting was down modestly compared to last year, due to lower advertising revenue at the ABC Network, partially offset by higher program sales. Lower advertising revenue at the network was driven by lower primetime ratings. Higher program sales were driven by the sales of Castle and Wipe Out in the quarter,” Rasulo said.

Broadcasting revenues were up 1% to $1.35 billion in the quarter, while segment operating income dropped 4% to $192 million.

Cable networks did better, with revenues up 2% to $3.54 billion and operating income up 9% to $1.38 billion.

Combined, they gave the media networks division a 2% revenue gain to $.88 billion, with operating income up 7% to $1.57 billion.

For all of the past fiscal year Disney revenues were up 3% to $42.28 billion.Net income rose 18% to $5.68 billion.

Media networks revenues gained 4% for the year to $19.44 billion and operating income rose 8% to $6.62 billion. All of the growth came on the cable networks side, with broadcasting essentially flat. Broadcasting revenues declined $22 million to $5.82 billion and operating income gained $2 million to $915 million. Cable revenues rose 6% to $13.62 billion and operating income gained 9% to $5.70 billion.

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Comments (1) -

GMRetiredTV Nickname posted over 4 years ago
C3 & C7 might help program ratings... however the problem grows as consumers who DVR shows skip commericals when recorded on DVR. How do you measure commerical viewership in a delayed enviorment?
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Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for September 25, 2016
  • 1.
    5.5/18
  • 2.
    2.6/8
  • 3.
    1.2/4
  • 4.
    0.9/3
  • 5.
    0.5/2
  • 6.
    0.2/1
Source: Nielsen

Reviews

  • Rob Owen

    Easily fall’s best broadcast network comedy pilot, NBC’s The Good Place offers a clever high-concept premise that’s complemented with intelligent, sometimes absurdist humor. Created by Michael Schur, co-creator of NBC’s Parks and Recreation, The Good Place is a highly serialized series that’s essentially set in heaven and stars Kristen Bell and Ted Danson. NBC made five episodes of The Good Place available for review, and the show not only holds up, but also it improves, deepening characters that initially feel one-note and frequently leaving viewers guessing with cliffhanger endings to many of the episodes. The combination of snappy dialogue and winning but flawed characters makes The Good Place a great bet for fans of smart TV comedy.

  • Maureen Ryan

    Pitch has swagger, for good reason. It gets the big things right; the Fox drama about the first female baseball player in the Major Leagues is one of the year’s most assured and exciting debuts. But part of what impresses about the pilot is also the way it confidently strings together so many small but telling details. Ginny (Kylie Bunbury) is the first woman to be called up from the minors to the big leagues, and no show since Friday Night Lights has done a better job of portraying the internal and external pressures that weigh heavily on young athletes asked to do much more than merely succeed on the field. Pitch will likely do a good job of getting viewers to root for it. The hope is that the show won’t be an impressive, short-lived curiosity, but rather a long-term phenomenon.

  • Kevin Fallon

    In a fall TV season that’s already making a splash for championing diverse, distinctive voices in an array of projects that they created, wrote, and starred in, Better Things on FX stands out. The show is created by, written by, and starsPamela Adlon. She plays Sam Fox, the single mother of three daughters modeled after her own reality-show-ready experience raising three girls in Los Angeles following a divorce. Sam is also, like Adlon, a working actress — on shows both raunchy, a la Californication, and animated for children, like her role on Recess. It’s a refreshingly blunt take on single motherhood without sacrificing the warmth of parental love, portraying the dance between selfishness and selflessness that’s at the heart of being a parent — especially one weathering the hormonal fireworks of a household of four women at different ages.

  • David Wiegand

    The fall TV season doesn’t count as much as it used to — we already know that. But no matter how many retreads the broadcast networks throw at viewers in the next few months, this fall will be memorable because of the premiere of Atlanta on Tuesday, Sept. 6, on FX. The half-hour comedy created by and starring Donald Glover (Community), simply and brilliantly recalibrates our expectations of what a TV comedy is and how black lives are portrayed on the medium.

  • Louisa Ada Seltzer

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  • Neil Genzlinger

    Bryan Cranston brings his Tony Award-winning interpretation of President Lyndon B. Johnson to television in an adaptation of the Robert Schenkkan play All the Way, and it’s still quite a sight to behold, just as it was on Broadway in 2014. Nothing beats witnessing this kind of larger-than-life portrayal onstage, of course. But the television version, presented by HBO, offers plenty of rewards, allowing Cranston to work the close-ups and liberating him from the confines of a theater set. Cranston’s performance is a gem — in his hands, this accidental president comes across as an amazing bundle of contradictions, someone who seems at once too vulgar for the job and just right for it.

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