On an earnings call last Friday, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that ESPN will introduce a new streaming service next year. The service, called ESPN Plus (ESPN+), will be a direct-to-consumer streaming service that offers access to ESPN’s channels and “thousands more” live events. There will be a cost associated with the service but it wasn’t disclosed at this time. When speaking about the pricing, Iger said the service will have less volume than a service like Netflix and the pricing will reflect that.
This move is hardly surprising. Disney, ESPN’s parent company, acquired streaming company BamTech for over $1.5 billion and announced plans to shun Netflix for its own streaming service for its content. It only makes sense that ESPN would follow suit. The sports giant has been bleeding money and subscribers for years now. It needed to do something to stem the tide and this seems like a logical move.
During the earnings call, Iger spoke to the redesigned app and strategy behind this move:
The product will be accessible through a new and fully redesigned ESPN app, which will allow users to access sports scores and highlights, stream our channels on an authenticated basis and subscribe to ESPN+ for additional sports coverage, including thousands of live sporting events. This one app [will offer] sports fans far more than they can get on any other app, website or channel.
So far, details are pretty thin. One of the biggest questions will be who can purchase ESPN Plus. You can currently only access ESPN’s content if you have a cable subscription, but more and more people are cutting the cord every day.
Would an ESPN streaming service be something you’re interested in? Let us know down in the comments.