ESPN’S DEFERRED PRO RIGHTS FEES HELPED DISNEY’S BOTTOM LINE

By Walt Moseman

Disney reported mixed earnings on its second-quarter reporting yesterday.

Disney Media Networks, a division that includes ESPN, was helped by the pandemic, at least from a fiscal standpoint.

It had operating profit of about $3.2 billion, a 48 percent increase, because ESPN was able to defer substantial rights payments to the NBA and Major League Baseball.

Disney’s movie studio held its own; operating profit fell 16 percent, to $668 million, in part because theaters were closed and the company did not have to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to advertise the arrival of new films.

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