Iger: ESPN-BAMTech Service Will Be Focused

Walt Disney Co.’s planned ESPN-branded direct-to-consumer offering with recent investment BAMTech could feature specific sports and even specific seasons and subscription periods, chairman and CEO Bob Iger told an industry audience Wednesday.

Disney announced plans for the direct-to-consumer service in August in conjunction with its decision to purchase a one-third interest in BAMTech, the technology and streaming service formed by Major League Baseball.

At the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference Wednesday, Iger offered more color on the service, adding that the plan is to launch it next year. While details are still sketchy, Iger said the idea is to monetize the “treasure trove” of digital rights to sports that ESPN controls but that don't necessarily make it to the signature service. He added that the offering would be complementary to what ESPN already airs and that pricing is still being worked out.

“One of the things that we have been talking about is that it shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all,” Iger said. “We think where the market could be going in terms of some of these sports is being able to buy it very, very selectively, a specific sport, maybe even for a specific season or a specific date or a specific weekend.”

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