For all of the issues at ESPN it has been a leader in reaching out to cord cutters. ESPN has been a leader in streaming from its early efforts with WatchESPN to being one of the 20 launch channels when Sling TV went live.
We recognized the early signs of a shift in the industry, and anticipated its impact and adapted quickly to a strategy that responds to evolving markets, Bob Iger the CEO of Disney told analysts after his company released its first quarter 2017 results.
Now it seems Disney and ESPN are once again getting serious about a direct-to-consumer ESPN service; however, Bob Iger stopped just short of giving any timeline. What he did give us is a look at what we should expect from the service.
We dont have plans to basically take the channel and distribute it direct … But theres an inevitability to that, he told analysts. Without being specific, Iger added the eventual direct-to-consumer service would likely be distinguished by particular live sports and league offerings to better target consumers, rather than deliver an omnibus service.
So what does this mean? It sounds like a potential à la carte-type sports program. Love the NFL? Sign up for the NFL package. Love the NBA? Sign up for the NBA package
It is also interesting to see that ESPN is at least considering the fact that at some point will need to sell directly to consumers. While we are still likely sometime from that goal just the fact that it is considering it is good news for cord cutters.
So when will ESPNs new subscription service come to market?
Last year Disney stated that it planned to release the new standalone streaming service sometime in 2017. So far no one has back tracked from that, so it is likely to still be coming in 2017.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
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