ESPN+ Hits New Subscriber Record in The 1st Quarter of 2023




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Excited Sports Fans Cheering at TV

ESPN+ continues to score big with sports fanatics. Only three months ago ESPN+ had 24.9 million members. Disney’s earning call earlier this week reported the streaming service increased from 25 million subscribers to 25.3 million. 

Ten percent of Disney’s $5.51 billion streaming revenue during the second fiscal quarter was from ESPN+, totaling $430 million. Revenue generated per subscriber increased from $5.53 to $5.64 between the first and second quarters. 

“We’re pleased with our accomplishments this quarter, including the improved financial performance of our streaming business, which reflect the strategic changes we’ve been making throughout the company to realign Disney for sustained growth and success. From movies to television, to sports, news, and our theme parks, we continue to deliver for consumers, while establishing a more efficient, coordinated, and streamlined approach to our operations,” stated Robert A. Iger, Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company.

According to the earnings report, “improved results at ESPN+ were attributable to growth in subscription revenue due to an increase in retail pricing and subscriber growth” as well as higher per-subscriber advertising revenue. ESPN+ originally was $4.99 per month, now up to $9.99 a month as a solo subscription.

In comparison, revenue from Disney’s linear networks tallied up to $6.625 billion by the end of the second quarter. The difference in revenue between the company’s streaming and linear television networks was twice as high in 2022’s second quarter. 

“Direct-to-Consumer revenues for the quarter increased 12% to $5.5 billion and operating loss decreased $0.2 billion to $0.7 billion. The decrease in operating loss was due to improved results at Disney+ and ESPN+, partially offset by lower operating income at Hulu.” 

With Disney’s recent Hulu merger pending, it will be interesting to see how much the numbers surge in upcoming months, although Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu streaming services have already been available as a package bundle since 2019.

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