Disney CEO Bob Iger today on the company's Q4 2019 earnings call (financial calendars don't always follow the calendars the rest of us use) today dropped a pretty major stat:
ESPN+ has more than 3.5 million members.
By comparison: Sling TV, which is the largest live TV streaming service, has 2.686 million subscribers as of Sept. 30, 2019. That's comparing apples to oranges, given the price difference between the two services — ESPN+ is $4.99 a month or $49 a year, compared to $25 a month for Sling — but it still puts things in context.
The digital arm of the venerable sports network launched in April 2018 and gained more than 2 million subscribers in less than a year.
"What ESPN+ is teaching us is that the opportunity for the company with sports is multiplatform," Iger said during the earnings call." "... I think you're likely to see more sports on ABC as the value of live grows on the live, linear channels."
The success has come on a couple fronts. First is the content. ESPN+ has been home to pretty much any sport you can think of. Baseball. Basketball. Football. Rugby. Cricket. Boxing. Fencing. MMA. It's the exclusive home to UFC pay-per-view events. And it's got a pretty decent stable of original content given how young it is.
The second reason for the success is the platform itself. ESPN+ is available just about everywhere, and it works extremely well just about everywhere. It's bundled into the ESPN+ app on your phone, and on streaming hardware like Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV and Android TV. And the ESPN+ platform has handed multiple major live events with nary a hiccup.
But whatever the reason, 3.5 million subs in such a short amount of time is nothing to sneeze at. And that's considering we're about to see a trifecta of ESPN+, Hulu and Disney+ wrapped up in a $12.99-a-month bundle, which will boost its numbers that much more.
All the sports
All the sports in all the places
ESPN+ now has more than 3.5 million subscribers and is available on just about every streaming platform you can think of — plus it's on your phone and tablets.
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