Disney’s Chapek says program production delayed as Delta variant spreads

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Shares in the company, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic as theme parks and movie theaters were forced to shut down, fell about 3% after Chapek’s statement.

“Our TV group has hundreds of new programs in production … but the resurgence of COVID and Delta did impact some of our productions so that we’ve got a lighter product quarter in Q4 than we might have expected,” Chapek said at the Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) Communacopia Conference.

COVID-induced production delays were seen globally, which in turn were affecting supply of new content, but the issues were short term, he added.

Disney streaming service Disney+, which debuted in November 2019, has seen more consumers tuning in, but the competition has been heating up with new entrants and as companies including Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) invest into producing more programs.

Chapek said the company was still “very bullish and confident” about its long-term subscription growth, but there could be “a little bit more noise” than was expected.