ESPN+ was mentioned in Disney’s fiscal first-quarter earnings report, which was released Tuesday. Disney says the service, which launched last year now supports 2 million subscribers.
Bob Iger says that MMA and boxing will be a key part of ESPN+’s future. “We expect the expansion of combat sports content on the streaming service to drive continued growth in the months ahead,” he told analysts on an earnings call.
Last month ESPN claimed that 500,000 people signed up for new ESPN+ accounts ahead of the first UFC card to stream on the OTT service. That coincides with a promotion that offered a free month trial of ESPN+.
Whatever the truth of those new accounts are, 2 million subscribers and 500,000 new subscriptions surrounding a single event are impressive. As media consultant Patrick Crakes tweeted, “Heck, in the whole SVOD product universe – to include mega giant Netflix – there’s not many with 2M+ paying subs.”
Disney has another product on the horizon which could be used to promote ESPN+ subscriptions. Disney+, a new streaming VOD service featuring films from the entire Disney library plus new, original content, will launch later this year. Iger said he hopes to be able to offer customers a discount if they sign up for a single account to access ESPN+, Disney+ and Hulu, which the company owns a controlling interest in.