Disney forges new streaming video division in prep for services like ESPN+

in General Discussion
As part of a larger reorganization, Disney on Wednesday announced the creation of a new division for its streaming video and international operations, which will oversee two upcoming video services: ESPN+, and the company's as-yet-unnamed family-friendly offering.

The changeup is effective immediately, with strategy officer Kevin Mayer assuming a chairman role at the streaming division, Reuters said. Media networks will remain separate from Disney's movie studio.

ESPN+ could prove critical for Disney. While sports addiction keeps many people paying for cable and satellite TV packages, people less attached to sports have been able to cut bills by switching to services like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Now. People willing to pay a little bit more can still get a sports fix with internet-based live TV services such as Sling and PlayStation Vue.

The family-targeted service is expected to launch in late 2019, and seriously disturb the streaming landscape, not the least because Disney plans to remove first-run movies from Netflix. Marvel and "Star Wars" movies will eventually stream only through the new service, even if people may be able to pay for downloads and rentals at places like Apple's iTunes.

Apple and Disney have a close corporate relationship, in no small part because former Apple CEO Steve Jobs was once Disney's largest individual shareholder, owing to the latter's buyout of Pixar. Disney CEO Bob Iger sits on Apple's board of directors, and corporate ties have been used to insert Disney content into Apple marketing, and even custom faces on the Apple Watch.


  • Reply 1 of 5
    I watch a few games a year- College Basketball & Football - but have nointerest in supporting the Disney/ESPN empire of sports gossip. Make no mistake, the talking head shows on ESPN are nothing but a gossip fest and I have less than zero interest in paying for or supporting such nonsense.

    Bob Iger wants to milk your wallet on both your TV provider and then for even more via the streaming service plus commercials. The Disney model of mining the customer’s wallet as deeply as possible is ESPN’s as well.

    What I would prefer is pay per view for the handful of games I watch. Like many, Inwant to be free of the ESPN tax that subsidizes all these overpaid athletes and corporate welfare queen sports leagues/teams.

    As to Disney TV, it is all schmaltz with a heavy dose of political correctness. Yuck.
  • Reply 2 of 5
    seanismorrisseanismorris Posts: 1,624member
    ESPN has been declining in value for a decade+ and its hurting Disney’s value/market cap.  The Marvel purchase was a slam dunk.

    ESPN+ is an attempt to staple what’s working to what isn’t.  

    That Disney should have done is offload ESPN years ago.  Management is living in the past.  We don’t need ESPN.  We don’t need ESPN+. If Disney wanted to make ESPN relevant they should have purchased Twitter.  Twitter is the way Athletics communicate with fans.  It could be Disney’s online platform for streaming movies, sports, news, etc. and marking juggernaut for all things Disney.

    Kevin Mayer (the guy behind ESPN+) should update his resume.

  • Reply 3 of 5
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,297member
    Another service I have zero interest is signing up for. Take it away from Netflix and there's other ways to get it.
  • Reply 4 of 5
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    Attention author: There’s a spelling error in the first sentence of the second paragraph. The word “changeup” should be “change.”
  • Reply 5 of 5
    seanismorrisseanismorris Posts: 1,624member
    I freaking knew it!  The folks over a ESPN are on drugs.

    John Skipper resigned suddenly as ESPN president in December, citing a long struggle with "substance addiction."

    Substance = Cocaine
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