Market Insider

Disney falls to session lows as Nielsen reaffirms industry subscriber data

Shares of Walt Disney fell to session lows after Nielsen reaffirmed its industry wide data that said ESPN lost 621,000 subscribers in a month.

The stock fell about 1 percent on Friday.

On Friday, Nielsen said it has now finished an "extensive" review of its data and confirmed that its industry figures were "accurate as originally released."

Disney said in a statement to CNBC that the data is a "historic anomaly for the industry and inconsistent with much more moderated trends observed by other respected third party analysts." The company added that the data does not measure new distribution methods and that it hopes to "work with Nielsen to capture this growing market in future reports."

On Sunday, the data measurement company temporarily pulled the numbers in its November 2016 Cable Network Coverage Area Universe Estimates. Nielsen said it wanted to "investigate a larger than usual change as compared to the prior month."

In response to the initial report, ESPN said in a statement to CNBC that "Nielsen numbers represent a dramatic, unexplainable variation over prior months' reporting, affecting all cable networks." The network said it raised the issue with Nielsen "in light of their demonstrated failures over the years to accurately provide subscriber data."

Disney shares have declined 11 percent so far this year.

— CNBC's Julia Boorstin contributed to this report.

— Clarification: This story was updated to reflect that Disney's stock moved in response to Nielsen reaffirming industry wide data that affects the company.