Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Disney CFO Talks ESPN Competition

Jay Rasulo
The Walt Disney Co.'s acquisition plans and the outlook of its ESPN and studio businesses were in focus Tuesday as CFO Jay Rasulo spoke at a big annual investor conference, according to THR.

Appearing at the 41st Annual UBS Global Media and Communications Conference, he was asked about his appetite for acquisitions, saying "we don't have anything on the scale of Marvel or Lucasfilm right now." He added: "I don't feel there is anything we need," but "you will continue to see us do acquisitions in the future."

Asked about Disney's position in sports amid the recent launch of Fox Sports 1, Rasulo said ESPN has always seen competition, and new competition hasn't hurt advertising demand at the sports giant and he continues to feel good about ESPN. "The ratings haven't changed a lot," he said, touting ESPN's bigger audience. But he emphasized that "we are not going to cede our position" or become complacent.

He predicted that Disney would end up getting NBA rights again, which ESPN and ABC currently share, but signaled he was expecting a lot of competition for them. He said they are the last remaining piece of the sports puzzle for Disney after other big league deals that it has already sealed.

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