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Business News/ News / Disney has dramatically cut traditional TV spending, CEO says

Disney has dramatically cut traditional TV spending, CEO says

WALT DISNEY-IGER/ (UPDATE 1, PIX):UPDATE 1-Disney has dramatically cut traditional TV spending, CEO says

Disney has dramatically cut traditional TV spending, CEO saysPremium
Disney has dramatically cut traditional TV spending, CEO says

(Adds CEO comments on streaming strategy throughout, closing share price paragraph 12)

By Lisa Richwine

May 15 (Reuters) - Walt Disney has cut its investment in programming for traditional television networks pretty dramatically as part of its strategy to maximize audiences and profit in the streaming TV era, Chief Executive Bob Iger said on Wednesday.

Iger said he looked expansively at traditional media when he came out of retirement to return to Disney as CEO in November 2022.

He concluded that traditional channels such as ABC still serve as an important marketing tool and help reach older viewers who are not watching series such as "Abbott Elementary" on Disney's streaming platforms.

Still, the company has reduced "pretty dramatically our investment in content specifically aimed at those traditional networks," Iger said at the MoffettNathanson’s 2024 Media, Internet and Communications Conference in New York.

"We feel comfortable with our hand right now, because we’re using those networks efficiently and effectively," he said.

Shows such as "Abbott" or "Grey's Anatomy" move quickly to Disney's Hulu streaming service, where they attract a younger audience, Iger said.

The strategy allows Disney to amortize costs across platforms, the CEO added. One executive, Dana Walden, oversees the traditional entertainment networks and streaming.

"We're basically aggregating greater audience, and we're amortizing costs and we're using the marketing of the traditional network, really, to help in some cases," Iger said.

"We're doing that across the board, Disney Channel, ABC, National Geographic, and it's working," he added.

Iger said he expected continued growth from Disney's theme parks business, but perhaps not at the same rate as in recent years.

"We've had double-digit revenue growth in that business for quite some time, and that's extraordinary," he said. "But I think we're being realistic, too, in that delivering double-digit revenue growth ... well into the future is not necessarily that achievable."

Disney shares fell 2.5% to close at $102.77 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. (Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Michael Erman and Bill Berkrot)

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Published: 16 May 2024, 03:26 AM IST
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