Iger: Disney Can Survive Economic Downturn

CEO Touts Diversification, New Media at Goldman Sachs Communicopia Conference

New York -- Disney CEO Robert Iger said the company can weather an economic downturn.

Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communicopia Conference here Tuesday, Iger said Disney would be insulated from a slump in advertising spending tied to an economic downturn because advertising represented just 23% of the company's revenue.

Iger said advertising as a proportion of its revenue mix has actually decreased and that wasn’t likely to change. “We are not looking to grow advertiser-supported businesses as a company that significantly,” he added.

Iger noted that the company has just 10 television stations and pointed to flagship sports cable network ESPN, where revenue is dominated by subscription fees. The network -- which Iger referred to as the “poster child” for a multiplatform brand based on its new-media focus -- is expected to deliver double-digit growth.

Iger also said the company was well-diversified, which served as a buffer to economic uncertainty. The company plans to continue diversifying its revenue stream in 2008 through its various segments such as parks and recreation, consumer products and media. In media, the company will continue to expand content distribution across platforms such as video-on-demand, iTunes and the ABC.com Web site.