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Disney says entertainment sales growing amid sports shutdown

March 19, 2020 / Eric Fisher

ESPN parent company Disney said it is seeing increased user consumption and advertiser interest in its entertainment properties while the US sports industry remains at a standstill due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. A day after ESPN senior executive Burke Magnus addressed the sports media giant’s current programming strategy, Rita Ferro, president of Disney advertising sales, posted an open letter describing the company’s ongoing efforts with both brands and leagues.“Across our entertainment brands we are seeing increased audiences and engagement on both our linear and digital platforms, inclusive of Hulu,” Ferro said. “We’ve shifted Jimmy Kimmel Live an hour earlier and expanded daytime news coverage of current affairs. And we’re looking to attach advertisers to our signature franchises like Good Morning America and our Freeform series, where we have a lot of feel-good family content that can be great resonators for client messaging.”