Disney COO Says Networks Won’t Become Streaming Services

Tom Staggs also touts “Star Wars” as a “long pipeline,” teases Chinese theme park expansion beyond Shanghai

Last Updated: September 10, 2015 @ 11:41 AM

Disney COO Tom Staggs took to the 2015 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference stage on Thursday in Beverly Hills, to gush about his company’s upcoming Shanghai Disney theme park. He also talked “Star Wars,” and shot down the thought of Disney’s TV offerings going over-the-top anytime soon.

“We continue to believe in the bundle and we will continue to look at ways to enhance the value of that,” The Disney chief operating officer said of his media giant’s small-screen lineup. “So in the foreseeable future I don’t see over-the-top… as being an outcome that’s gonna to happen.”

Staggs did assure shareholders that they’ll be ready to pivot on the TV side if a big change is deemed necessary, but he doesn’t believe that will occur any time soon.

In China, Staggs reiterated that the new Shanghai Disney park will be “absolutely, authentically Disney — but it’s distinctively Chinese.” The expansion is near and dear to Staggs’ heart, as he led the Parks and Resorts branch since 2010.

The executive referred to the Far East project as a “long-term investment,” and shared that he plans to build out more around the massive Asian property. Staggs also wants to continue growth in Hong Kong, and teased another potential location in the booming territory “over time.”

Six different lands will be featured at Shanghai Disney Resort. The park could theoretically become the largest Disney location outside of Walt Disney World.

Overall, Staggs said that visitors to any of his parks can expect to see more from Marvel material over time. Plus, “We’ve got more going on with ‘Frozen,'” he promised.

Sticking with big-screen franchises, Staggs touted “Star Wars” as “a great example of [CEO Bob Iger’s] whole equation,” as it touches all elements of the media company’s potential profitability: from Filmed Entertainment to Theme Parks to Consumer Products.

He categorized the new “Star Wars” film development as “a long pipeline.” “Episode VII is a part of a broader, long-term strategy with the ‘Star Wars’ franchise,” Staggs said, calling the property “evergreen.”

“Star Wars: Episode VII” zooms into theaters on Dec. 18.