Disney's CFO: Netflix Wasn't Our Only Streaming Option

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Walt Disney Co. CFO Jay Rasulo said Disney looked at several potential partnerships before aligning itself with Netflix in a streaming deal that was announced Tuesday.

"They're not the only people we talked to," Rasulo said Wednesday at the 40th Annual UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York. While prodded, Rasulo wouldn't delve into the financial aspects of the deal -- though analysts estimate it could be worth from $200 million-$350 million annually by the time it fully kicks in around 2017. Rasulo, though, simply called it "the highest value deal" Disney was offered for streaming rights to its films.

Rasulo also addressed a small ratings slump at ABC, which he said was trending no worse than other networks. He did acknowledge, though, that a Dancing With the Stars all-star show didn't work, surmising that audiences prefer to see people who can't dance too well rather than winners from past contests.

A challenge for ABC and other TV networks is the soaring use of DVRs, therefore ABC is pushing advertisers to buy seven-day ratings.

The CFO also defended tiers over a la carte programming for cable and satellite TV customers, even dismissing the notion of a sports tier where ESPN would undoubtedly be king. A la carte, he said, "will not end up delivering a good product value to the consumer."

 

 

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