Disney’s New ESPN Stand-Alone Streaming Service Is Coming to Disney+ as A Bundled Live TV Service





Back in May of 2023, we learned that Disney was in the process of building a streaming service to offer ESPN as a stand-alone streaming service. This would allow sports fans to subscribe to ESPN without cable TV or a live TV streaming service. Giving cord cutters a way to watch ESPN networks for the first time without paying for other channels.

Now, Bob Iger has announced that if you bundle this new ESPN live TV streaming service with Disney+, you will be able to stream it through your Disney+ app. It is interesting to note that Disney+ and Hulu recently merged apps, but the Hulu + Live TV service is still only available through the dedicated Hulu app.

The ESPN live TV streaming service is expected to launch in 2025 and will be available bundled with other Disney streaming services and as a stand-alone service.

Details are still thin about the service but here is what we know:

When asked about the future of ESPN as a direct streaming service during Disney’s 1st quarter 2023 earnings call, CEO Bob Iger said, “Regarding ESPN and when we might make the shift, if you’re asking me, is the shift inevitable? The answer is yes, but I’m not going to give you any sense of when that could be, because we have to do it, obviously, at a time that really makes sense for the bottom line. And we’re just not there yet,” Bob Iger said. “And that’s not just about how many subscribers we could get, it’s also about what is the pricing power of ESPN, which obviously ties to the menu of sports that that they’ve licensed.”

Not that long ago, ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro once again made it clear that ESPN will be a streaming service but just not yet.

“We’re going to get to a point where we take our entire network, our flagship programming, and make it available direct to consumer,” Pitaro said in an interview with Bloomberg. “That’s a ‘when,’ not an ‘if’….We’re only going to do it when it makes sense for our business and for our bottom line.”

Even though Disney may be looking at 2025 for the release date, it is reported that they are already building the service. The project is called “Flagship” and is part of Disney’s plan to be ready for the day cable TV comes to an end.

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