Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Disney Will Launch ESPN+ Streaming Service In Spring 2018

Walt Disney Co Walt Disney Co
June Sullivan | 11 November, 2017, 01:29

During a very exciting earnings call, Walt Disney Company chairman and CEO Bob Iger revealed some of the plans for the company's now unnamed streaming service, set to launch in 2019.

The earnings report comes amid Disney's alleged negotiations with Fox to acquire some of its entertainment assets.

A new Star Wars TV series is in the works.

Is this a deal you'd still like to see go through?

"They reminded investors that they have these great brands and they're putting their resources behind them, they're addressing this head on", said Robin Diedrich, an analyst at Edward Jones & Co.

But there's good news from Disney, since Bob Iger has promised that the company's own streaming service will be '"substantially cheaper" than Netflix. That service will be called ESPN Plus, he said Thursday. Iger said the company just closed a deal with Rian Johnson, who directed the installment that will be released in December, to develop an entirely new Star Wars trilogy. Shares initially dipped 3% after the company Thursday reported mixed results for the July-September quarter. The price of the upcoming platform was not disclosed. The announcement comes after another disappointing quarter for ESPN, with decreased ad revenue and higher programing costs compared to the prior year.

"I'm pleased to note that Shanghai Disney Resort generated positive operating income during its first full fiscal year of operations, which comfortably surpassed our expectations of breakeven from its first year", McCarthy said.

Disney plans an aggressive marketing campaign for the channel by pushing the service to its Disney-branded credit card holders, annual Disney park pass holders, members of D23, owners of Disney vacation club units and frequent visitors to the six Disney parks.

Mr. Iger also revealed that an ESPN digital offering scheduled for next year will debut in the spring and be called ESPN Plus.

Iger said Disney has "never lost our bullishness about ESPN".

As for its cable networks, operating income decreased US$15 million to US$1.2 billion due to a decrease at Freeform and partially offset by growth at the Disney Channels due to higher program sales.

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