(Adds financial details, comment on Internet TV deals)
LOS ANGELES, April 17 Walt Disney Co's
cable networks are expected to record high single-digit growth
in operating income and domestic affiliate revenue from fiscal
2014 through 2016, Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo told
investors on Thursday.
"We feel very good about the long-term growth of our cable
business," Rasulo said at a meeting for investors at its the
company's ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut.
Disney's cable operations reported $6 billion in operating
income, a 6 percent increase, for the 2013 fiscal year ended
Sept. 28. The unit includes sports channel ESPN, the Disney
Channel, ABC Family and others.
The company may make more deals that allow pay-TV providers
to offer Disney-owned networks over the Internet and outside of
a traditional TV subscription, Rasulo said. Dish Network Corp
reached an agreement with Disney in March to offer that
type of "over-the-top" package.
The Dish deal "is very unlikely to be the last," Rasulo
Disney recently renewed distribution deals with eight of the
top 10 U.S. pay-TV operators, he said. It expects to reach
agreements by year end with the other two -- satellite TV
provider DirecTV and the National Cable Television
Cooperative, which negotiates programming deals on behalf of
more than 950 small U.S. cable operators.
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Edited by Ronald Grover, Andre
Grenon and Leslie Adler)