Disney+ to Add ESPN Tile This Year After Successful Hulu Integration

All U.S. subscribers will receive access to select live games and studio programming within the app

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Disney+ will add a new ESPN tile by the end of 2024.

The new tile, which will grant U.S. subscribers access to “select live games and studio programming within the Disney+ app,” will be integrated into the app by the end of calendar year, the Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger announced on Tuesday’s Q2 earnings call.

“In March, we successfully launched Hulu on Disney+, bringing extensive general entertainment content to the platform for bundle subscribers [and] we’re encouraged by the early results,” Iger said. “By the end of this calendar year, we will be adding an ESPN tile to Disney+, giving all U.S. subscribers access to select live games and studio programming within the Disney+ app.”

Ahead of the launch of the standalone ESPN streaming service, which is currently slated to launch in the fall of 2025, Iger noted the tile marks a “first step to bring ESPN to Disney+ viewers.”

The standalone ESPN streaming service, which was first announced in conjunction with Disney’s Q1 earnings in February, was described as a “one-stop shop” for sports lovers by Iger, who revealed the direct-to-consumer service will feature a “full suite of ESPN channels,” as well as other features, including shopping, betting and other personalized and customizable features.

“Not only will consumers be able to stream their favorite live games and studio programming, they’ll also have access to engaging digital integrations like ESPN bet and fantasy sports, e-commerce features and a deeper array of sports stats, all of which we know will be incredibly compelling to younger sports fans in particular,” Iger said on the Q1 earnings call. “It will also have very robust personalization features.”

While Disney is currently involved in joint venture with Fox Corp. and Warner Bros. Discovery that will put ESPN, TNT and Fox Sports together on an app, the standalone ESPN app caters to sports lovers who would rather not participate in the multichannel option and aims to achieve “higher engagement, lower churn and greater advertising potential,” per Iger.

“There are a number of people who have never signed up for multichannel television. This gives them a chance to do so at a price point that will be obviously more attractive than the big, fat bundle,” Iger said. “There are people who have left that ecosystem because they didn’t want all those channels or that cost. This is a way of basically preserving a relationship or creating one with those that are no longer part of the multichannel ecosystem.”


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