Disney CEO Bob Iger claimed that although his company wants to keep the sports network, they will likely need help with it. Exploring this avenue could result in various scenarios.
Reuters is now reporting that Disney is holding initial talks with Amazon. The news outlet also claims that Amazon is discussing the possibility of taking a minority stake in the sports network as well. Iger previously mentioned both of these potential scenarios.
Amazon ESPN partnership may charge $35 per month for new streaming service
In the Reuters report, there are suggestions that Disney and Amazon may charge up to $35 per month for a new ESPN streaming service. This would obviously take the top spot as the most expensive service of its kind in the United States.
Axios reporter Tim Baysinger recently discussed the potential decision to charge so much for a streaming service. “The current version of ESPN’s streaming service ESPN+, I mean, that’s only like $5 a month and they’re making far less money off those subscribers versus the people that subscribe to ESPN on cable television,” Baysinger told Yahoo Finance.
“So a full version of ESPN streaming service is going to have to cost a lot more, because sports rights are not cheap. They’re only going to get more expensive. ESPN not only is going to probably renew its NBA deal, that’s up in a few years, it has its SEC football deal that’s going to start pretty soon. So their costs are only going up.”
New streaming service to be different from ESPN+
ESPN, like many other cable networks, is somewhat struggling at the moment. Cord-cutters have helped trim viewership of traditional cable channels in recent years. Disney currently controls 80% of the mammoth sports network, while Hearst Communications hold the remaining 20%.
The potentially new ESPN streaming service would not be the same as ESPN+. This current offering is an over-the-top streaming service that features fairly different content to the traditional ESPN channels. Instead of just providing select sporting events or shows, the new service would essentially offer everything that ESPN currently airs.
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