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Iger Confident About Future of ESPN

Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger said that despite changes in the multichannel environment, ESPN remains strong.

“We’re confident in ESPN’s future,” Iger said during Disney’s third quarter conference call Tuesday.

Iger said ESPN’s brand is strong the network is the leader in live events and will remain that way because of long-term agreements.

ESPN, one of TV’s most profitable networks, has been the subject of reports that it is cutting costs in the face of declining subscriber numbers and a tough ad market.

But Iger said that the sub losses were smaller than reported by a leading research company, and that most of those losses came from a declining number of households, and only a few were the result of consumers turning to skinny bundles.

ESPN had lower ad revenues during the third quarter, because rates and ratings were higher a year ago because of coverage of the World Cup.

During this year’s upfront, ESPN registered higher demand, higher sell-through and higher rates, Iger said.