Disney CEO Bob Iger said that ESPN will launch its standalone streaming service in August 2025, touting the experience as “unlike anything available in the market today.”
The service, which brings together the full suite of ESPN channels, will be highly interactive, and include digital integrations of services like ESPN Bet and fantasy sports. It’ll also include e-commerce features and a wealth of sports stats, Iger added.
While Disney has long talked about the ESPN service, Iger’s comments offer more specific details of the plan. It also confirms that its direct-to-consumer streaming ambitions with ESPN are on track in light of yesterday’s announcement of a new sports streaming joint venture.
On Tuesday, Disney announced alongside FOX and Warner Bros. Discovery a new joint venture to create a sports streaming service that would combine their networks. The so-called skinny bundle — in streaming form — would cobble together 14 networks, from ESPN to FOX Sports and local ABC and FOX affiliates. That raised the question of where a standalone ESPN would fit in.
Iger noted that the ESPN service will include features and interactive elements that won’t be found on the JV.
Beyond the different features, Iger touted the ability to personalize the service, presumably to curate the types of sports, teams, and players that audiences want to follow.
He added that the service also offers an opportunity to expand marketing revenue, and said that the company is already engaged in productive conversations with advertisers.
For both the JV and ESPN, there’s still the opportunity to bundle the services with Hulu and Disney+, Iger said.