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Confirmed: A Standalone ESPN Streaming Service is Coming in 2017

Almost two years ago a Disney executive who oversees ESPN talked about the possibility of a standalone ESPN service similar to HBO NOW, and it looks as though Disney is getting closer to releasing their own standalone live TV streaming service.

“Our investment in BAMTech gives us the technology infrastructure we need to quickly scale and monetize our streaming capabilities at ESPN and across our company,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company said last year. “We look forward to working closely with BAMTech as we explore new ways to deliver the unmatched content of The Walt Disney Company across a variety of platforms.”

Now we know it will be coming out in 2017.

Today at Disney’s quarterly earnings call the CEO of Disney Robert Iger said “We will be launching a direct-to-consumer sports service sometime in calendar 2017.” (Disney is the parent company behind ESPN.)

We do not have many deatails on the new service but here is what we learned last year.

Disney said their purchase of BAMTech will also allow ESPN to launch and distribute a new ESPN-branded multi-sport subscription streaming service in the future. The direct-to-consumer service will feature content provided by both BAMTech and ESPN, and include live regional, national and international sporting events.

Current content on ESPN’s linear networks will not appear on the new subscription streaming service.

For now we will have to wait and see what this service looks like. Yet if you want ESPN you can find it on services like Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and DIRECTV NOW.

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  • Don K

    “Current content on ESPN’s linear networks will not appear on the new subscription streaming service.”

    So how is this standalone ESPN then? If a game is on ESPN, will it be on this new service LIVE?

    • JJ

      No. These will be additional games that ESPN obtains the rights to (or has the rights to anyway) but doesn’t air on linear ESPN. It will probably consist of niche or less popular content.

      • Don K

        So really it’s ESPN Lite. Of course it was too good to be true that they would offer linear ESPN without cable. They would probably charge a small fortune for it anyway. They don’t want to touch the deal that they have with cable where they get the $7+ from every subscriber whether they watch it or not.

        • Daniel Richards

          yup, ESPN (just the MAIN ESPN, none of the secondary channels) was estimated to cost each cable subscriber 6 bucks a month in 2014 and if it was an “al a carte” channel that estimate balloons to over 40 bucks a month, No Way ESPN will ever make sense outside a bundle

  • Robert Schwartz

    Part of the evil Disney empire – no thanks!

  • Chad_Muszynski

    Isn’t this the same thing as ESPN3 that they already offer?