Disney keeps moving the pieces to be more efficient in its processes and get more out of its products, which is why the company led by Bob Iger is actively preparing to launch an independent transmission service for ESPNAccording to a new report from Wall Street Journal. The report indicates that ESPN plans to sell its channel directly to cord cutters as a subscription streaming service in the next few years. It is unknown when the service is planned to launch.
What does this mean?: that it will no longer be as separate channels or cable transmission signals, but will be a streaming service that will offer all its content in the same place, a kind of ESPN + 2.0.
The companies are now reportedly kicking off this plan with a new project internally codenamed “Flagship.” ESPN has begun to ensure flexibility in its agreements with cable providers and is having similar discussions with professional sports leagues.
The change will have significant implications for cable TV providers as live sports on ESPN is one of the biggest draws of traditional cable. The providers, who pay to carry the ESPN channel, would end up having to compete with the new streaming service.
During Disney’s earnings call earlier this month, Disney CEO Robert Iger said that migrating ESPN to a direct-to-consumer service is a big decision, one the company plans to implement carefully.
“We haven’t really changed our position on basically migrating ESPN’s flagship service as a streaming or direct-to-consumer platform,” Iger said during the call. “We think there’s an inevitability to that, but it’s a big decision we have to make. And we know we have to get it right, both in terms of pricing and time.”