DISNEY PROFITS DIP — BUT NOT AS BADLY AS EXPECTED
The Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday reported a 6-percent dip in profits to $1.38 billion for its first quarter, down from $1.46 billion during the year-ago period. Analysts had predicted a somewhat steeper decline. Disney blamed it principally on lower revenue from home-video titles and on $321 million in charges related to a lawsuit brought by Celador International over the ABC game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire. While revenue rose at its cable networks, profits fell, due primarily to the increased costs of programming for ESPN — principally increased fees for college football. During a conference call Disney chief Robert Iger said that the company will eventually be able to offset those costs by increasing its rates to cable and satellite outlets.