Disney lowers longer-term forecast for Disney+ subscribers by 15 million

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An inflatable Disney+ logo is pictured at a press event ahead of launching a streaming service in the Middle East and North Africa, at Dubai Opera in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 7, 2022.
Yousef Saba | Reuter

Disney on Wednesday lowered its longer-term forecast for Disney+ to 215 million to 245 million subscribers, down 15 million on both the low end and high end of the company’s previous guidance.

Disney had previously set its Disney+ guidance in December 2020 at 230 million to 260 million by the end of fiscal 2024. The company reaffirmed its expectation that Disney+ will become profitable by the end of its fiscal 2024 year. Disney’s streaming services lost $1.1 billion in its most recent quarter.

Disney is lowering its forecast for Disney+ after failing to renew Indian Premier League rights for its Disney+ Hotstar streaming service. Excluding Hotstar, Disney Chief Financial Officer Christine McCarthy said Disney+ subscribers should be between 135 million and 165 million by the end of 2024, largely in line with the company’s previous forecast, when it said core Disney+ should make up 60% to 70% of total customers. The new forecast for Hotstar is “up to 80 million,” she said.

Disney shares rose nearly 7% after hours, signaling investors may have feared an even larger cut to the streaming outlook. Several analysts had predicted Disney management would lower its guidance this quarter.

Earlier Wednesday, the company announced subscriber growth numbers well above Wall Street’s expectations. As of the most recent quarter, Disney+ had 152 million subscribers, the company said.

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