ESPN’s Stand-Alone Streaming Service Will Be Available Through Disney+

ESPN’s planned streaming product will be part of the Disney bundle when it launches in 2025.

CEO Bob Iger said during recorded remarks at Disney’s annual shareholder meeting that the stand-alone ESPN streamer will be available through Disney+ for subscribers who bundle their Disney streaming services. He compared the ESPN integration into Disney+ to that of Hulu, which formally launched a week ago.

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The ESPN streaming service is headed for a 2025 debut and will include the full suite of ESPN’s channels, including all of its major rights packages (including the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL and a host of college sports). ESPN+, its current streaming service, has some live events now and library programming including the 30 for 30 documentary banner.

Iger also reiterated that the stand-alone ESPN streamer will also feature a host of engagement points, including fantasy sports, betting and ecommerce. Those features will also help the stand-alone platform differentiate itself from the ESPN-Fox Sports-Warner Bros. Discovery Sports joint streaming venture that’s slated to launch later this year. Iger didn’t offer any additional updates on the joint venture in Wednesday’s remarks.

In response to a shareholder question, Iger also said he’s “never been more bullish” on the women’s sports featured on ESPN than he is now. He cited the record-breaking audience for Monday’s Iowa-LSU match-up in the NCAA tournament as evidence that viewers will make women’s sports appointment viewing.

The Disney+-Hulu integration had a beta launch in late 2023 before going wide March 27. The company touted a slew of technical upgrades with the launch, with improved personalization and better ways to promote titles within the app. The launch also came with a big marketing push for non-bundle subscribers to upgrade.

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