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Cramer: Disney deal shows 'foot race' of new initiatives and decline in traditional TV

Jim Cramer said Wednesday that ESPN's owner Walt Disney's deal shows a "foot race" between new initiatives such as streaming services and the decline in traditional linear TV.

The mass media giant announced Tuesday it would pay $1 billion for a 33 percent stake in BAMTech, the video streaming unit of Major League Baseball. BAMTech and ESPN will work together to create a standalone streaming service. Analysts said that although Disney has a strong relationship with cable companies, streaming is something consumers generally want and shows Disney making moves to compete in the future.

Cramer talked about the ESPN's subscriber base, citing a ESPN media press release back in February of 2011 that boasted the company had 100 million subscribers.

"They trumpeted it. They don't about those numbers anymore," Cramer told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." "We know that Nielsen rates it about 88 million … that's a drop off. So what you have is this footrace between new initiatives and this decline in the traditional linear that is so important."

Disney posted Tuesday fiscal third-quarter earnings of $1.62 per share on $14.28 billion in revenue. Analysts expected the company to report earnings of $1.61 per share on $14.15 billion in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters estimates.

Shares of the company have been on the rise Wednesday after the open, rising more than 1 percent.