Everything We Know About ESPN’s Stand Alone Streaming Service Including Price, Launch Date, & More Updated





Earlier this year, we learned that Disney was building a streaming service and planned to offer ESPN as a stand alone streaming option. So exactly what does that mean, and what do we know about Disney’s so-called “Flagship” project to leave cable TV behind and offer a la carte TV? Let’s take a look at what we know.

Now Disney’s CEO Bob Iger, talked with CNBC this week and talked about ESPN’s new stream service.

What exactly are Disney’s plans for ESPN as a streaming service?

Now thanks to a Disney project code-named ‘Flagship,’ Disney staff are actively working on turning ESPN into a streaming service. This means at some point, you will be able to subscribe to just ESPN directly and watch the channel live without cable TV or a live TV streaming service.

When will ESPN’s streaming service launch?

This week Bob Iger said he is now more certain than ever about when the service will launch. Though he declined to say when Disney will release the service but that during his time back at Disney he has decided on when Disney will launch a stand alone streaming service for ESPN..

He also added that the bundle of cable TV channels is in trouble now more so than ever. This move to offer ESPN as a stand-alone is likely Disney being prepared for a post-cable TV world.

According to reports from the New York Post ESPN’s streaming service may not happen until 2025 or even 2026. A lot can change that may make Disney rush out the ESPN streaming service earlier, but for now, sources say 2025 is the likely target day.

What has Disney officially said about this project?

Recently 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.”

What price should you expect for ESPN as a standalone service?

ESPN reportedly gets, on average $9.42 from each cable TV subscriber. Now it is being reported that Disney may need to charge subscribers to its standalone service $22 a month according to reports for experts.

Moving to streaming will likely mean ESPN will need to charge more as many people who pay for ESPN don’t watch it. $22 could be a price you may expect depending on if ESPN+ is included etc.

Will ESPN still be available through YouTube TV, Cable TV, etc?

According to Forbes, ESPN plans to keep its channels on cable TV and streaming services. When this happens, ESPN will also reportedly be offered as a streaming service alongside its cable channel, similar to what The Weather Channel and some RSNs are doing right now.

For now, this is what we know. It seems that Disney is busy working on a plan to be ready for a post-cable TV world. Now though, the question is when they plan to release the service.

Other Details:

During the interview with CNBC, Disney CEO Bob Iger said he was open to partnering with other companies to make this ESPN streaming service work. He was even open to possibly selling part of ESPN to a 3rd party. Talks have reportedly already happened with a few potential partners, but as of now, nothing concrete has come from these talks.

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