The Walt Disney Co. said its new streaming sports service will be called ESPN Plus.
Speaking during the company’s earnings call Thursday, Disney CEO Bob Iger said direct-to-consumer streaming services were his highest priority for 2018.
Iger did not bring up the talks Disney reportedly had about buying assets from 21st Century Fox. In response to questions, the company declined to comment on press speculation.
Related: Disney Streaming Move Creates New Questions for Distributors
ESPN Plus will be launched in the spring. It will be based on a redesigned ESPN app that will enable users to view highlights, stream ESPN programming and subscribe to thousands of additional live sporting events.
“The one app experience will be a one-of-a-kind product,” Iger said. “It will have more live sports than you can get on any channel, site or app.”
Iger said that pricing for the app will be disclosed next year.
Disney is also working on a Disney branded app and Iger said the company was developing original movies exclusively for the streaming service as well as TV series based on its Star Wars, Monsters and High School Musical franchises. Another series from Marvel Television is also in the works.
Iger said that initially the new Disney direct-to-consumer service would be ad free and would be priced below Netflix, because it would not offer as much programming as Netflix. But he added that the Disney service might offer some sponsorship opportunties, not unlike the Disney Channel.
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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