As ESPN seeks additional forms of revenue, the rumored standalone app that will stream the ESPN TV channel has a potential price. Disney CEO Bob Iger called the shift to streaming “inevitable,” and the development of ESPN on streaming is a part of due course.
Initially, this service, which is different than ESPN+, did not have a desired price point. Now, Citi Research analyst Jason Bazinet suggests a ‘profit-maximizing price of $22 per month.’
Bazinet says this is a move and price that requires little risk but can lead to ample reward. The one change is that Bazinet suggests combining ESPN+ with the standalone ESPN content. Note that ESPN+ does not carry live offerings from the ESPN TV channel right now. Those still require some form of TV, cable or satellite subscription.
This price point is far less than cable, yes. While the pay-TV market penetration is at its lowest point since the 1990s, ESPN remains a driving force for cable subscriptions. As of now, just over 75 million Americans have a cable or other pay-TV subscription, and many of those seek out only the ESPN channel.
ESPN standalone app compares to similar services
ESPN is not the first cable channel or provider to create its own specific service. For example, Bally Sports and YES Network are two pay-TV channels that launched streaming options. Bally Sports Plus is $20 per month, and YES Network is $25 per month. In each instance, those offerings are specific to live broadcasts of generally three to five teams.
In comparison to a similar offering that has multiple channels, Comcast’s Now TV provides access to many cable TV channels for $20 per month. That being said, it does not have ESPN or Turner channels. Those are both pivotal to cable TV’s livelihood in the United States.
Therefore, it is no surprise to see ESPN as a standalone app to have such a relatively pricey monthly cost. With more people cutting the cord on cable, it could prove to be massively important for American audiences.
PHOTO: IMAGO / Icon Sportswire
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