Disney explores ditching cable for streaming-only version of ESPN

Disney is planning to release a streaming version of its flagship ESPN cable channel, according to a report published by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday. The report said Disney has assembled an internal team to work on a streaming service, code-named “Flagship,” that would offer standalone access to ESPN outside a traditional cable bundle. The Journal’s story is not a huge surprise: For several years, Disney executives have been pretty vocal that the future of the media business is streaming, especially as more television viewers ditch expensive cable and satellite packages for cheaper online options. But executives have also cautioned that a streaming version of ESPN will only come when the company feels the time is right — and that could still be years away. Cable still boosts Disney’s bottom line Image: KnowTechie According to Disney’s latest financial earnings, its traditional broadcast and cable channels brought in more than $6.6 billion during the first three months of the year. The figure was seven percent lower than what Disney earned from its TV business during the same period in 2022. However, the division was still wildly profitable for Disney overall, accounting for nearly one-quarter of its $21.9 billion for the period. By comparison, Disney’s streaming revenue earned $5.514 billion, an increase of 12 percent, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the company from losing $659 million from its streaming services. Translation? Even though people are leaving cable and satellite, the company still makes a lot of money from customers who…Disney explores ditching cable for streaming-only version of ESPN

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