Activist investor Nelson Peltz is agitating for more changes at Walt Disney. One of them includes the idea of bundling ESPN+ with Netflix together.
That’s according to Bloomberg, which shared details from a white paper published by Peltz, whose Trian Fund Management controls nearly $3 billion in Disney shares. Peltz is seeking a Disney board seat for himself and former Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo in a bid to steer the ship in another direction. Disney has rejected the nominees.
A combination between the two services would make sense- at least on paper. Netflix is by far the leader in subscription streaming, and Disney hooking ESPN+ to its larger rival might provide a shot of growth. Netflix, meanwhile, has been keen to expand its presence in sports, and just signed a $5 billion deal to bring the WWE to its service in 2025. A bundle would come as companies like Verizon are increasingly offering packages of different services at a discount, including Netflix and Max.
Peltz’s attempt to shake things up represents just the latest in a myriad of problems for Disney, which has seen some of its biggest franchises from Marvel to its Disney animation flop at the box office, while its shows on Disney+ have failed to resonate like they once had. CEO Bob Iger himself unintentionally stirred up controversy by opening the door to the sale of assets like ABC and ESPN, prompting Allen Media Group, which owns Local Now and The Weather Channel, to make an unsolicited bid for the ABC Network and its cable channels.
Trian is also seeking more details on Disney’s plans to spend $60 billion on its theme parks over the next decade, as well as Iger’s recent cost cuts, according to Bloomberg.
Spokesmen for Disney, and Netflix weren’t immediately available for comment. Trian declined to comment.
Disney offers a bundle that includes a trio of its own services: Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. The company is also in the middle of integrating Hulu content into Disney+ with the intent to push a combined app.