Sports lovers pay $6.99 a month for ESPN+, which includes 75 exclusive NHL games, college sports from 20 conferences, MLB games, and exclusive original shows such as Peytons Place.
Get Walt Disney Company Report. However, you may still have to sign up for a cable package for that.
Sporting events are one of the few things that people still watch when they air. On the other hand, people prefer to watch sitcoms and dramas on their own schedule.
For a while, there have been whispers, or at least educated guesses, that Disney might one day monetize all of its sports offerings on ESPN+, transforming it into a direct-to-consumer service. Since Disney is likely to be reluctant to lose cable subscription fees, the company hasn''t pulled the trigger on making the whole move yet.
CEO Bob Chapek argued that an all-in ESPN+ streaming service was more or less inevitable if he didnt provide a time table for the transition.
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Chapek said there might be more where the deal came from, as Disney is concerned about bulking its streaming service.
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Were very conscious of our ability to go more aggressively into the DTC area of ESPN, according to him. So what you would do is sort of placing one foot on the dock if you will, and one foot on the boat right now.
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The main issue that keeps the company from operating all in, according to Deadline, is that streaming costs are considerably higher than pay-TV.
Disney reported in its earnings call that its networks ABC and ESPN earned $2.8 billion in the quarter ended April 2, 2022. The majority of the money was from the subscription fee paid by ESPN cable companies.
Disney will be hesitant to lose those lucrative fees by canceling an ESPN subscription, owing to the fact that its streaming service isn''t quite making that amount of money, and according to the earnings call, is dealing with higher production costs for its upcoming shows.
Chapek suggested that the transition to an all-inclusive streaming option is more or less inevitable, as that''s the direction that the television industry is heading. He didn''t give any kind of time, however.
We know that at some point when it will be beneficial for our shareholders, we''ll be able to complete a DTC offer. We fully believe that there is a business model out there that will help us regain growth on ESPN+ in a fully DTC spirit.