Disney CEO and Chairman Bob Iger said it will cost $4.99 to stream ESPN Plus, in Disney’s first ever direct-to-consumer offering.
The over-the-top service will roll out sometime in the spring, in tandem with a redesign of Disney’s ESPN app. The over-the-top feature will be one part of that app, allowing users to watch live programming that will not otherwise be available on any of its channels.
“The third feature is a plus service, we’re calling it ESPN Plus, that will include an array of live
programming that is not available — live sports, live sports events — not available on current channels,” Iger said in an exclusive interview on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.”
ESPN Plus represents Disney’s latest effort to target “cord-cutters” or “cord-nevers,” those customers who primarily use mobile devices and computers to consume media.
“There are signs that young people are coming into multi-channel television. People that were once called or thought to be cord-nevers are starting to adopt less expensive over-the-top packages,” Iger said.
Although nontraditional solutions haven’t reversed subscriber loss, Iger said the subscriber numbers in the quarter Disney just announced are not down as much as previous quarters.
The platform will feature about 10,000 sporting events each year, will have content from the MLB, NHL, MLS, collegiate sports and tennis’ Grand Slam events. The company had teased in August it would launch its own ESPN video streaming service in early 2018.