Breakingviews: Disney could settle ratings fight by releasing own data

Jennifer Saba
Jay L. Clendenin | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images

Walt Disney's ratings battle deserves a bigger audience. The media conglomerate is squawking over Nielsen figures that show fewer households are getting its ESPN sports network. Investors are already worried that the company's biggest and most profitable business may be challenged. One way to combat the confusion would be to release some data itself.

At the end of October, the Outkick the Coverage blog published by Disney rival Twenty-First Century Fox said ESPN lost more than 620,000 households from a month earlier. The home to SportsCenter and Monday Night Football reached 89 million households, a 3 percent decline from a year earlier, according to Pivotal Research, which cited Nielsen figures.