Advanced Television

ESPN Plus to launch at $4.99 per month

February 7, 2018

By Colin Mann

Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of Disney, has revealed that the company’s ESPN Plus streaming service, set for launch in spring 2018, will cost $4.99 (€4.05) per month, with Disney’s direct-to-consumer (DTC) service scheduled for “late 2019”.

Speaking on Disney’s Q1 2018 Earnings Call, Iger said the ESPN DTC business would feature a completely re-conceived and redesigned ESPN app which would deliver important new services and experiences to users.

“The changes will be dramatic, with more compelling visuals, as well as an easy, intuitive interface and exceptional video and sound quality,” he advised. “Users will also enjoy an increasingly personalised experience as the app blends explicit choices with implicit behaviour to curate a unique mix of specific, relevant content tailored to the taste of each individual user.”

“This one-app approach will deliver three main features. It will provide countless scores and highlights, as well as podcasts and other sports information with a more user-friendly mobile interface. It will enable access to live streams of all ESPN’s networks providing consumers or subscribers to multi-channel packages. And it will feature our new ESPN Plus subscription service. Powered by BAMTech’s proprietary technology, the service will offer a greatly expanded array of programmes and live events for sports fans who want even more content, as well as for fans interested in sports and events not currently featured on the main channels,” he noted.

As well as a wide range of sports, ESPN Plus will feature the full library of ESPN Films, with Iger confirming that the broadcaster was creating a “robust” slate of high-quality original content exclusively for the platform.

“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. “It will be available on a variety of platforms at the time of launch, including iOS, Android, tvOS, Chromecast, with more to follow. We’re very excited to bring this product to market, an opportunity created by our BAMTech acquisition. We plan to invest further in the direct-to-consumer feature, adding more live games and produce sports programming, along with even greater personalisation in the years ahead,” he added.

“Our upcoming Disney DTC service will also combine the full range of BAMTech’s capabilities with some of the world’s most popular IP to deliver a compelling consumer experience when it launches in late 2019,” he suggested.

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