Company: Disney extends CEO Iger's contract

Marvel and Star Wars fans need to lower their expectations.

Company: Disney extends CEO Iger's contract

Marvel and Star Wars fans need to lower their expectations. One will produce less and cheaper than previously planned, said Disney boss Bob Iger on the US broadcaster CNBC. Marvel in particular was overloaded with the many series for Disney's in-house streaming service. Overall, Disney spent too much money producing streaming content without paying enough attention to profitability.

Iger, whose contract has just been extended by another two years until the end of 2026, was ready for radical changes at the group. He expressly questioned whether the classic TV business with the broadcasting chain ABC would remain part of Disney in the long term. The upheaval in linear television is much bigger than he expected, said Iger.

However, Iger wants to hold on to sports television and definitely break the US sports broadcaster ESPN out of the cable TV subscriptions and, like Disney, offer it directly to consumers. He also sees great potential in the film and TV studios and in the amusement parks.

Declining sales in classic TV

The linear television business in Disney's home market is suffering as advertising dollars flow to the web and more consumers are terminating their cable TV contracts and migrating to streaming services.

In the past quarter, Disney's sales in classic TV fell by six percent to around $6.6 billion. Meanwhile, streaming revenues increased by 12 percent to $5.5 billion. However, Disney writes losses - which Iger wants to contain with its austerity program. He wants to cut costs by $5.5 billion. Among other things, around 7,000 jobs were cut.

There is fierce competition in the streaming business: the top dog Netflix, Disney, Amazon, Apple and other players are fighting for users. In the meantime, cheaper subscription models with advertising also play a greater role. At Disney, subscriptions with advertising now account for 40 percent of new additions, Iger said.

The architect of today's Disney Group

The 72-year-old Iger returned from retirement to the Disney leadership in November 2022 and was initially given a two-year contract. In many ways, he is the architect of today's Disney Group. In his 15-year first tenure, he brought the Marvel superheroes, the "Star Wars" universe and the animation studio Pixar under the Disney umbrella. In 2020, he handed over the top job to longtime theme park boss Bob Chapek. However, due to the high streaming losses, among other things, the Disney board of directors lost faith in Chapek and brought Iger back.