In a Q2 earnings report today, Disney reported a $1b loss thanks to buying back content deals across the globe as it sought to bring its TV shows and movies home for its streaming services. But beyond that, things are looking good for Disney.
It added subscribers. 7.9 million for Disney+, 300,000 for Hulu, and a further 1 million for ESPN+.
Disney did signal a potential subscriber slow-down later this year:
Disney CFO Christine McCarthy also suggested that Disney+ subscriber growth could slow down in coming quarters. “It is worth mentioning that we had a stronger than expected first half of the year,” McCarthy said on the quarterly earnings call, adding that some markets expected to go live in Q3 are in eastern Europe, including Poland, which may be impacted by the war. However, a stronger content slate in the second half of the year should keep Disney+ growing.
Ahead of the Disney earnings call, Lightshed's Rich Greenfield, Brandon Ross, and Mark Kelley posted a guide on some potential M&A targets Disney should consider. While much of it seemed like opinion writing for opinions sake (should Disney buy Netflix? Surely this only yields a short-term, back-room talent acquisition problem. While it solves content issues for Netflix, it leaves Disney saddled with two big streaming services that make little sense being merged together), it does have one interesting idea: maybe Disney should look at buying Roblox.
As Disney establishes a foothold in the metaverse, it is going to need a more robust gaming platform.
Roblox is a far more digestible asset – even at a massive premium. Roblox’s enterprise value is now $11 billion after declining over 80% from its November 2021 highs (remember, if Disney sells Hulu, they would generate at least $18 billion in cash proceeds).
Disney has never been able to crack gaming on its own, despite multiple tries during the Iger era. However, the stakes are higher now. Even as trends have normalized post-Covid, it is clear that 3D interactive is going to play a major role in the future of entertainment and communications. Disney needs to be a part of that future.
What. Is. This. Show.
Okay. I'm interested. Jason Woliner is the director of the second Borat movie. He has apparently been filming a TV series for over a decade that is reportedly “mind-bending" and "mixes fact and fiction to tell a bizarre and incredible tale.”
It's worth keeping in mind that Woliner is also a director on the offbeat comedy Nathan For You.
Whatever the show is, Peacock has ordered it to series. It remains untitled.
Everything about this makes me want to see it. And the fact I know nothing about it makes me want to see it more. Gabbo. Gabbo. Gabbo.
Just a note about Avatar...
Get ready for another Upload
One of your favorite TV shows is Amazon Prime Video's Upload. Or it would be if you'd press play on the show. The good news is that this gem of a comedy (it's a romantic comedy about a dead guy connected to the real world via virtual reality) has been renewed for a third season.
Amazon claims it is a hit, which is weird as the only time I have ever seen it mentioned by another human being is when folks give in to me after having banged on about it for a few years. The emails and DMs always comment on how much they like the show. Be like those people and give it a look.
“Upload has become a bona fide hit that continues to be one of the most-watched comedy originals on Prime Video,” said Vernon Sanders, head of global television at Amazon Studios. “The series continues to connect and provoke endless possibilities for the future of technology and humanity. With Greg’s distinct comedic take along with the dynamic creative team and talented actors, they’ve made a globally relevant series which we’re all incredibly proud to bring back another season for our customers.”
- There are plans for a third season musical episode of The Boys. There is nothing I enjoy less than a musical episode of a TV show. Read: EW
- Foxtel in Australia has renewed its deal with Sony Pictures to bring Sony movies and TV to the Foxtel and Binge platforms. Read: Variety
- Law & Order and Law & Order: Organized Crime have been renewed for new seasons. Read: THR
- Ken Jeong will join The Afterparty for season 2. It's weird: I just assumed he was in it already. Read: Deadline
- RIP Allo Allo actor Robin Parkinson. Read: Radio Times
- Republican sh*tbag Sen. Josh Hawley has introduced an Act aimed at reducing copyright protections held by large corporations. This is part of culture war nonsense attacks against Disney and won't get up. Interesting nontheless. Read: Deadline
- The Betty White estate sale starts Sept 23. Banks, be known I will be making contact in early Sept. Read: People
- I suspect that Virgin River on Netflix is quietly one of the biggest shows in the world. It returns July 20. Read: Spolier TV
- Thanks to a highly valued tax rebate, Sicily has become a TV hotbed of production with shows from Disney, Netflix, Amazon, and Showtime filming there. Read: Variety
- Andy Dick has been arrested following allegations of a sexual assault. Read: THR
Physical returns for season 2 on June 3.
South Park: The Streaming Wars debuts June 1 on Paramount+.
Another day. Another newsletter. Today I forgot to grab my large umbrella as I left the house on this wet, windy day. Hopefully your day fares better.