Disney's ESPN streaming coming with new app, $4.99/month price

Bob Iger chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company

Adam Jeffery | CNBC Bob Iger chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company

Wall Street analysts were anticipating $15.45 billion in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters. The apps will also be an opportunity for Disney to exploit all of the Fox content Disney acquires once its $52.4 billion purchase of Fox makes its way through the federal regulatory process.

Higher losses from streaming service Hulu, in which Disney will become a majority stakeholder pending the close of its Fox acquisition, were partially attributed to an equity decrease in investee income from US$119 million in the prior-year quarter to US$50 million.

Speaking on Disney's earnings call Tuesday, Iger said ESPN Plus will be available via a new reconceived ESPN app.

BAMTech, which Disney has invested billions of dollars in, and runs streaming for HBO, MLB, WWE (WWE - Free Report), will power this new service.

"The Netflix output deal expires with the '18 slate", Iger said.

The company also announced it was expanding its "Star Wars" universe, hiring the creators of HBO hit "Game of Thrones", David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, to write and produce a new series of films set in the galaxy far, far away.

Increased attendance was seen at global parks, with Shanghai Disney Resort receiving between 65,000 and 68,000 visitors on one day in October, Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a conference call with investors.


Six months after Walt Disney Co. announced plans to introduce a new over-the-top ESPN streaming service, the media conglomerate has settled on a price point and release window. ESPN's ad revenue and cable subscriber numbers were both down in the quarter that ended in December.

Operating income for the studio declined 2 percent to $829 million, Disney said. "The demand for those brands, we believe, will give us the ability to spend less on volumes", said Iger, on a conference call on February 6.

Media networks segment's revenues were flat at $6.24 billion, while parks and resorts units increased 13 percent to $5.15 billion.

"As I noted earlier, we'll introduce this new app with its direct-to-consumer component this spring, and we're pricing ESPN Plus at $4.99 per month", he revealed.

Disney is seeking to transform itself into a digital entertainment giant to rival subscription services such as Netflix that let viewers watch films and TV shows online.

Excluding special items, earnings for the quarter rose to $1.89 per share from $1.55 per share past year.

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