Disney (DIS) is down over 14% in the past year and revealed in an SEC filing last week that its EPSN channel lost 2 million customers in fiscal 2016.
This is a notably slower decline than the 4.5 million subscribers Nielsen said the three main major ESPN channels have lost in the past three months.
The issue with Nielsen's number is that it's a "sampled measurement," Instinet media analyst Anthony DiClemente said on CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Thursday afternoon. In other words, that number is not the "actual number of subscribers that ESPN generates affiliate revenue on," he explained.
In addition, the number doesn't include the new, "skinny" digital video bundles from Dish Network's (DISH) Sling Tv, Sony's (SNE) PlayStation Vue and AT&T's (T) DirectTV Now, DiClemente pointed out. "It's important to note that it's just really kind of a carve out of the actual number of subs," he said.
Lastly, people should note that media outlets such as CNBC have been talking a lot about the Nielsen ESPN subscriber loss number so that must already be factored into the price, DiClemente said. The media is also treating the subscriber loss number as an issue "unique" to the sports channel when really, those are "industry numbers."
Instinet has a "buy" rating and $110 price target on shares of Disney.
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