ESPN gets into streaming service game

09 February, 2018, 03:46 | Author: Regina Lloyd
  • Walt Disney Studios Park is seen at the entrance at Disneyland Paris ahead of the 25th anniversary of the park in Marne-la-Vallee

"What we're really doing is preparing to be able to thrive in the future however the business models, the way people consume content, evolves", then-ESPN president John Skipper said in December at the SVG Summit shortly before his resignation.

The success of Disney parks and resorts was driven by new attractions such as Pandora - the World of Avatar in Orlando, which helped increase attendance by 6% across the company's USA theme parks.

The Star Wars movies - like the previously announced Rian Johnson Star Wars movies, two planned Star Wars TV properties, and likely the entire Star Wars catalog at some point down the road - will stream exclusively on the new streaming service that Disney plans to launch in late 2019. Out of 15 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 9 are bullish on Disney stock, 5 remain sidelines, and just 1 is bearish on the stock. The struggling network will roll out an updated ESPN app to target "cord-nevers", according to CNBC. To get the type of content you'd typically associate with ESPN, you still need a subscription to ESPN, either through your cable or satellite provider or via one of the many over-the-top streaming services that have cropped up in recent years.

"It will be available on a variety of platforms at the time of launch, including iOS, Android, tvOS, Chromecast, with more to follow".

ESPN Plus: What can you watch on it?

The over-the-top service will feature popular United States sports such as Major League Baseball, NHL, and Major League Soccer, as well as events not now featured on the main ESPN channels like rugby and cricket. ESPN Plus will include some MLB, MLS and National Hockey League games, but ESPN's flagship properties like Monday Night Football and major-conference basketball will remain on ESPN. The plan is to make the app the one-stop shop for Disney's sports offerings, including live viewing of ESPN channels, for customers who are also pay-TV subscribers.

ESPN Plus: How much will it cost?

On an earnings call Tuesday, Disney CEO Bob Iger provided more details about ESPN's upcoming streaming video service, ESPN Plus.

"ESPN's history is about launching in 1979 into a world that was starved for more sports in which there were a big total of 2,000 hours of sports available to sports fans in this country", he said tongue-in-cheek.

"As I noted earlier, we'll introduce this new app with its direct-to-consumer component this spring, and we're pricing ESPN Plus at $4.99 per month", he revealed.


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