ESPN Plus Streaming Service Debuts in Spring for $5/Month

ESPN Plus Streaming Service Debuts in Spring for $5/Month

Disney said it earned an adjusted $1.89 a share, compared to the $1.61 that Wall Street expected for the quarter ending. The company's revenue grew 4% year-over-year (y-o-y) to $15.3 billion, primarily due to a strong performance in Parks and Resorts segment, partially offset by fairly flat results in other segments.

"The strategic investments we've made have driven meaningful growth over the long term, and we remain confident in our ability to continue to deliver significant shareholder value", said Robert Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company.

Net income soared 78% to $4.4 billion - largely as a result of the one-time benefit from the new federal tax laws. And they want you to pay $4.99 per month for it.

ESPN Plus will feature "thousands" of live events that aren't available on ESPN's linear networks from the Major League Baseball, the MLS, the NHL, college sports, Grand Slam tennis, boxing, golf, rugby, and cricket.

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Subscribers will also have access to ESPN films-including the 30 for 30 franchise-and additional original sports programming.

Media networks revenues for the quarter was flat at $6.2 billion and segment operating income decreased 12 percent to $1.2 billion. The announcement comes after another disappointing quarter for ESPN, with decreased ad revenue and higher programming costs compared to the prior year.

Steven Cahall, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said: "We see good momentum in Disney's results that support a long-term rerating story around streaming/direct to consumer". Prior to Disney's Q1 earnings report, the company announced that Game of Thrones execs David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have been tapped to write and produce a new series of Star Wars films. Those will presumably wind up on the entertainment app that Disney is launching in late 2019, which will feature content from Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar, and the Disney TV and film studio. Disney's Iger elaborated further on the app during his interview with CNBC.

When asked whether Disney would spend as much as its main rival, Netflix, on its OTT products (Netflix is spending $7-$8 billion on content this year), Iger said that because of the strength of Disney's brands, it did not need to focus as much on volume.