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Disney’s Q1 Earnings Fall on Higher Programming Costs at ESPN

Increased spending at its cable sports giant takes toll. Net income falls 6 percent to $1.38B from $1.46B

Media giant Walt Disney Co. posted lower earnings on Tuesday, due in part to higher programming costs for its ESPN sports division.

Net income fell 6 percent to $1.38 billion from $1.46 billion. Net income per share fell 4 percent to 77 cents a share from 80 cents a share for the company's fiscal first quarter. Revenues rose 5 percent to $11.3 billion from $10.78 billion last year.

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The company said operating income at its cable networks decreased $15 million to $952 million for the quarter due to a decrease at ESPN, partially offset by growth at its Disney Channel, ABC Family and A&E Television Networks.

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Overall, Disney's media networks, including ABC, saw revenues increase by 7 percent to $5.1 billion. Segment operating income rose 2 percent to $1.2 billion.

The company said its interactive division made money for the first time, swinging to a profit of $9 million from a loss of $28 million.