“We’re very bullish and confident about our long-term sub growth,” Chapek said. “But we’re going to see a little bit more noise than I think maybe the Street expects in terms of our ultimate projections quarter-to-quarter.”
Shares of Disney fell as much as 5.4% to $169.03 in New York. They were down 1.4% this year through Monday’s close.
Chapek said the introduction of a new Star+ subscription service in Latin America was going slower than the company anticipated, although he believes that numbers will improve as Disney works more closely with distribution partners there.
Disney+, the company’s mainstreaming service, has been a huge growth engine, particularly with people stuck at home and watching more TV during the pandemic. It now has more than 116 million subscribers globally. Analysts are forecasting about 125.7 million subscribers for the company’s soon-to-end fiscal fourth quarter, based on the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
The company is planning a big promotion for Nov. 12, the two-year anniversary of the streaming service’s launch. Customers will have access to the new Marvel film, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” which was previously only in theaters. “Jungle Cruise,” which was previously available on Disney+ for an additional $30 fee, will be included in the regular $8-a-month subscription.
Chapek said theme-park reservations for the quarter remain stronger than the previous one. Disney’s CEO said he’s also looking to be more “aggressive” in terms of the company’s presence in sports betting, including potentially signing additional partnerships for the ESPN brand.
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