Welcome to the New Year everyone. Rather than looking backward, let’s look forward and see what prospects lie ahead. It’s already stacking up to be a challenge for the Walt Disney Company and others in the entertainment business.
- The writer’s strike and pending actor’s strike threaten to put the kibosh on big profits for movies and television. Disney, at least, stands okay in that area with two animated films scheduled for next year and at least one (Wall-E) with mega-hit written all over it. Look for The Disney Channel properties to continue their dominance.
- The threat of a recession has America’s consumers keeping their belts tight which means that spending at Disney’s theme parks will likely be down. However, a weak dollar means that more foreign tourists will be lining up at the gates. So that could be a wash.
- The International destinations of Hong Kong Disneyland and Paris Disneyland continue to struggle. There is light on the horizon for DLP, but it’s still red ink and debt payoffs. Increased competition probably means Disney shouldn’t expect tremendous growth here.
- The Walt Disney company appears to be strongly positioned in the interactive and online arena with a growing team of online games, video games, and a renewed interest in venture capital and small acquisitions.
- There doesn’t appear to be much on the horizon that will threaten ESPN’s dominance in cable sports television.
I’m leaving quite a bit out, but that appears to be Disney’s fortune for the next 12 months.
In the spirit of the New Year it’s time to make a few resolutions. If you had 30 seconds of CEO Bob Iger’s time to pitch him one resolution for 2008 what would it be? Consider well. Perhaps it’s some movie or television property that you feel Disney has neglected recently. Some change at the theme parks you think would bring in the crowds. Got your idea? Good. Now share it with us in the comments!