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ESPN Plus Service Will Cost $4.99 Per Month

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The app will provide "countless scores and highlights", as well as access to live streams of ESPN networks for people who subscribe to multichannel pay-TV packages.

Disney has announced its first subscription streaming service - ESPN Plus - which will launch this spring at $4.99 a month. Cable networks revenues for the quarter increased 1 percent to $4.5 billion and operating income decreased 1 percent to $900 million.

Operating income was up 21% in Disney's theme park division, offsetting declines or flat performances in all of Disney's other businesses. The figure was aided by the recent change in US tax law, along with other one-time benefits that gave the company an additional $1.6 billion.

Disney CEO Bob Iger addressed questions during an investors call about the stand-alone service, which will include a combination of archived Disney titles and new titles from the company's biggest brands. Netflix earmarked $8 billion in 2018, Amazon said it would boost its video budget from $4.5 billion last year, and Hulu, which has not revealed its budget for this year, spent about $2.5 billion in 2017.

For the fiscal second quarter, analysts are looking for EPS of $1.70 and revenues of $14.02 billion.

Mr. Iger also focused on Disney's film pipeline, announcing that David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, executive producers of HBO's hit series "Game of Thrones", would write and produce a series of new "Star Wars" movies. The revenue paid by distributors to carry ESPN rose.

The long-awaited ESPN streaming service is nearly here, but it's meant to be an addition, not an alternative, for cable service.

The Disney-Fox deal comes as tech giants like Netflix and Amazon engage traditional medias in an increasingly competitive spending race on content. CNBC reported Monday that fear of being outspent was one of the main reasons Rupert Murdoch chose to sell those Fox assets. However, revenue was $15.35 billion, just short of the $15.5 billion analysts predicted.

At its TV stations, advertising was lower, largely due to unfavorable comparisons to a year ago, when the presidential election season netted high political ad dollars.

Revenue from studio entertainment dropped 1% to $2.5bn despite the release of popular films such as Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Thor: Ragnarok as home entertainment and streaming sales fell.

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