ESPN Plus Service Will Cost $4.99 Per Month

Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger said the highly anticipated direct-to-consumer streaming product ESPN Plus will launch in the spring and will cost $4.99 a month.

Speaking on Disney’s earnings call Tuesday, Iger said ESPN Plus will be available via a new, reconceived ESPN app.

ESPN Plus will give subscribers access to thousands of more games and more leagues, including Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, college sports, grand slam tennis, rugby, cricket and boxing.

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Subscribers will also have access to ESPN films--including the 30 for 30 franchise--and additional original sports programming.

Iger said the ESPN app will deliver “important new experiences and services” and that “the changes will be dramatic.” It will feature an intuitive interface, improved sound quality and a personalized experience that will take explicit choices and implied behavior to tailor it to the taste of the user.

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.

Iger said Disney will be investing to add more games and more sports programming, as well as greater personalization to ESPN Plus in the years ahead.

The new app could help take the focus on ESPN business from its declining subscriber base in traditional TV to its new streaming model.

"So it's a three-in-one, completely new experience, new technology, and it will basically enable people to access ESPN just about any way imaginable," Iger said. "And we're not only excited about it, but, if anything points to what the future of ESPN looks like, it'll be this app and the experience that it provides."

The separate Disney-branded streaming product is scheduled to launch in late 2019, Iger said.

Both streaming direct-to-consumer products will be powered by BAMTech.

Jon Lafayette

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.