Trian’s Nelson Peltz Suggests Disney Bundle ESPN+ With Netflix to Achieve Profitability

Nelson Peltz of Trian Fund Management thinks The Walt Disney Company could achieve profitability in streaming by bundling ESPN+ with a larger player in the streaming arena like Netflix.

Nelson Peltz Suggests New Streaming Profitability Plan for Disney

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Disney’s three streaming services are Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu. They are currently available individually or bundled together. Disney CEO Bob Iger has indicated he is looking for a partner for ESPN, which has seen a decrease in profits.

The report comes from Bloomberg, who spoke to sources familiar with the matter. They also said Trian will publish a white paper with their recommendations for Disney after the company’s next earnings report is released on February 7. Trian reportedly believes Disney’s management structure should be simplified, and that Disney should release more details about cost cuts and budgeting.

Nelson Peltz
Credit: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Trian controls nearly $3 billion worth of Disney shares. They are pushing for two seats on Disney’s Board of Directors, one for Peltz and one for Jay Rasulo, former CFO of The Walt Disney Company.

Disney announced their own Board nominees, consisting of current members, and recommended shareholders not vote for Peltz or Rasulo.

The Board does not endorse the nominations of Nelson Peltz and James Rasulo put forth by Trian Fund Management, L.P. and its affiliates, led by Nelson Peltz and supported by former Disney executive Isaac Perlmutter (collectively, the “Trian Group”). The Board recommends that shareholders do not vote for the Trian Group nominees, and that they reject a related proposal from the Trian Group to amend the Company Bylaws.

The Walt Disney Company

Trian outlined their own goals for Disney and what they think the company’s problems are in an SEC filing.

Peltz said in a statement earlier this month:

Instead of having a boardroom that would include directors with an ‘ownership mentality’ that can bring fresh perspectives to the company’s challenges, Disney is resisting change and asking shareholders to endorse a board comprised mainly of legacy directors (and their hand-picked successors) who have repeatedly failed to properly plan for CEO succession, misaligned the incentives of management, and failed to oversee or drive a strategy to get the streaming business to profitability or the studios to produce good content.

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