The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Nov 07, 2019 • 04:30 pm ET


The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


Loading Event

Loading Transcript


Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to The Walt Disney Company's Fiscal Full Year and Fourth Quarter 2019 Financial Results Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]

I would now like to hand the conference over to your speaker today, Mr. Lowell Singer, Senior Vice President of Investor Relations. Thank you. Please go ahead, sir.

Lowell Singer

Good afternoon, and welcome to The Walt Disney Company's fourth quarter 2019 earnings call. Our press release was issued about 25 minutes ago, and is available on our website at Today's call is also being webcast and a transcript will be available on our website.

Joining me for today's call are Bob Iger, Disney's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; and Christine McCarthy, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Following comments from Bob and Christine, we will be happy to take your questions. So with that, I'll turn the call over to Bob to get started.

Robert A. Iger

Thanks, Lowell, and good afternoon, everyone. We're now just days away from launching Disney Plus, the culmination of four years of planning, organizational transformation and a lot of hard work, and we're excited to be on the verge of this new era. We're also pleased to have delivered a solid quarter, which Christine will discuss shortly.

Before she does, I want to share a few thoughts about our DTC business to give you a sense of the confidence we have in our strategy and to provide a few updates. As you know, we began this process with the acquisition of BAMTech, which gave us the means to implement our DTC strategy, putting us into the market quickly and ensuring we have the technology to deliver a quality experience. Our first effort was ESPN Plus, which was an immediate hit with sports fans when it launched last year and continues to deliver steady growth. I'm pleased to announce that as of today, ESPN Plus has over 3.5 million paid subscribers, were drawn towards unique and growing mix of original content like the legendary NFL PrimeTime with Chris Berman now exclusively on ESPN Plus, and exclusive live events including UFC, College Sports, domestic and international soccer, and Top Rank Boxing. The UFC 244 pay-per-view event last Saturday delivered one of the ESPN Plus' largest live audiences to date. Viewing patterns show ESPN Plus appeals to a broad array of sports fans, those who want more of everything, as well as fans who are highly passionate about a specific sport, conference or team. We believe we have numerous interesting opportunities to expand ESPN Plus's live and original program offerings and to steadily grow subscribers.

As I've said, our acquisition of 21st Century Fox was largely driven by the value it brought to our overall DTC strategy, adding a number of critical elements including control of Hulu, which opens numerous growth opportunities domestically and internationally. We also gained a large library of quality film and television content along with additional filmmaking capabilities and the industry's best TV production studios, great talent,