Shares of Disney climbed after-hours on Tuesday and are up over 0.50% through mid-morning trading.
Which is good news, seeing as Disney's media networks reported flat revenue and a 12% decline in operating income due to weaker ad sales at ESPN. Analysts on average had expected revenue of $15.46 billion. For the full year, consensus estimates call for EPS of $6.54 and revenues of $58.58 billion.
For $5 per month, ESPN Plus subscribers will receive special content in an updated ESPN app.
"What we're really doing is preparing to be able to thrive in the future however the business models, the way people consume content, evolves", then-ESPN president John Skipper said in December at the SVG Summit shortly before his resignation. A sports streaming app called ESPN Plus will cost United States dollars 4.99 a month and launch in the spring, while a Netflix-like service for Disney movies is slated to arrive in late 2019, CEO Bob Iger said in a conference call on quarterly results. "We plan to invest further in the direct-to-consumer feature, adding more live games and produce sports programming, along with even greater personalisation in the years ahead", he added.
According to Iger, the new redesigned ESPN app will feature "countless scores and highlights, as well as podcasts and other sports information". Subscribers would have access to even more live sports not available on ESPN linear networks that also include boxing, golf, rugby and cricket.
Both streaming direct-to-consumer products will be powered by BAMTech. It will enable access to live streams of all ESPN's networks providing consumers or subscribers to multi-channel packages. More people visited Disney's parks in the USA and spent more money while they were there.
The Disney chief said the service would cost $4.99 (R59) a month, confirming that Disney intends to launch its own separate streaming service for non-sports programming next year in order to keep its market share in the face of competition from Amazon and Netflix.
The final nails of the terrestrial television coffin are slowly being hammered in as the major networks and sporting leagues drag their feet to offer more affordable live streaming options.
It will also include a full library of ESPN Films, for the example 30 for 30 documentary series, with a "robust slate" of original content exclusively for this platform also in the works.
And they want you to pay $4.99 per month for it.