Disney CEO Iger: ESPN could one day be sold direct

Walt Disney chief Bob Iger said Monday he sees ESPN as a media property that could be eventually sold directly to consumers like Time Warner's HBO, but not in the next five years.

"If we end up seeing more erosion in the so-called multichannel [cable and satellite TV] bundle, quality will win out," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

"While the business model may face challenges over the next few years, long term for ESPN ... they'll be fine. They have pricing leverage, too," Iger said. "Disney [Channel] is another ... brand and product that could be sold directly to the customer."

Disney owns ABC television and ESPN, theme parks and resorts, and movie studios under the Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar and Marvel banners.

"Technology is the most disruptive force that so-called traditional media ... is facing," he said.

"[But] we decided to view technology as a friend, not a foe," he continued, to bring better customer experiences across all of our businesses from making media look crisper on HD televisions to mobile and online viewing apps to enhanced attractions at theme parks.

China 'most exciting opportunity' in a long time

With Shanghai Disneyland set to open in about a year, Iger said he's not too worried about the recent meltdown in the Chinese stock market, which fell nearly 8.5 percent overnight.

"We opened up a new Disney store in Shanghai a few months ago, and I was there the week before last, [it's] still doing extremely well," he said.

"We haven't opened the theme park yet. So we don't fully know, but the research that we've done so far suggests that the Chinese consumer is not really in terms of its behavior indicating there's an issue," he added.

"We believe in that market for a Disneyland big time," he continued. "It's probably the most exciting opportunity the company has had in a long time, and definitely the most exciting opportunity we've ever had outside the United States."

Shanghai Disneyland is a joint venture between Disney and entities owned by the Chinese government.

Disney's bets on superheroes, 'Star Wars'

Over the weekend, Disney-Marvel's "Ant-Man" again won the domestic box office—just beating out Sony's Adam Sandler comedy "Pixels," which pulled in a disappointing $24 million in its debut.

"Ant-Man" made an estimated $24.8 million in its second weekend—breaking above $106 million in total U.S. and Canadian ticket sales and more than $120 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo.

The first 11 movies in Marvel's shared super-hero universe have grossed more than $8.5 billion at the global box office.

Read MoreWhat 'Ant-Man' says about Marvel's phase four

With Marvel firing on all cylinders, Disney is also about to reboot the "Star Wars" franchise—with "The Force Awakens," set for release in December. It's the first of three films being produced since Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012 for $4 billion.

"I've seen the film without most of its special effects and without most of its music," Iger said. "I can't wait for the world to see it."

"We're making standalone films which we've announced, two," he said—referring to a project exploring the backstory of a young Han Solo and "Star Wars: Rogue One" involving a heist surrounding Death Star plans.

The six previously released "Star Wars" films have grossed more than $4.4 billion at the worldwide box office since 1977.

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