Is it time to get ready for “Star Wars: A Twitter Story?”
Disney has hired a financial advisor and is looking into a bid for the social network, according to a Bloomberg report.
A potential deal would combine two media and tech behemoths in need of a jolt. Twitter continues to bleed money as its growth rate slows, and even with the stock up 43 percent over the past six months — largely due to acquisition rumors — it still trades below its IPO price of $26 a share.
Twitter has also received plenty of criticism for what some users feel is an inadequate response to online abuse. “Ghostbusters” star Leslie Jones was driven from the platform for a period of time after a harassment campaign led by Milo Yiannopoulos.
Despite its movie studio being on a record box office pace, Disney’s stock is down 13 percent year-to-date, as cord-cutting has continued to exact a steady bleed of subscribers from its ESPN cable networks, which contribute the biggest part of the company’s total profits. ESPN peaked at 101 million subscribers in 2011, and is down to less than 89 million today.
Both companies have recently expanded their efforts in live sports streaming. In August, Disney acquired a minority stake in BAMTech, a streaming video company that the Mouse House plans to use to offer a version of ESPN over the internet. Twitter’s Thursday Night Football package is also off to a solid start.
Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey is a Disney board member.
Twitter’s stock is up less than 1 percent on the report. Shares of Disney are down 1.6 percent.