ESPN+, Disney’s video streaming subscription service for sports fans has reached around 2 million subscribers. The company’s CEO Bob Iger revealed the latest growth figures during Disney’s first-quarter earnings call on Tuesday, according to The Verge news.
ESPN+, launched in April last year, offers a range of content such as an archive of ESPN Films including 30 for 30, Grand Slam tennis, PGA Tour golf, Top Rank boxing, hundreds of MLB, NHL and MLS games, combat sports, international cricket, rugby, college sports, and more. It also features original content such as LeBron James’ More Than An Athlete, and Detail with Peyton Manning.
Powered by Disney’s BAMTech division, ESPN+ charges $4.99 per month or $49.99 for a yearly membership.
Within five months from its launch, the service gained more than 1 million subscribers. Now, it has its own dedicated tab in the main ESPN mobile app.
Last month, it debuted an episode of UFC Fight Night from Barclays Center, Brooklyn, officially starting off its multi-year partnership with the MMA organization that it announced in May.
Although the addition of UFC cost Disney/ESPN $1.5 billion, it brought a significant boost to the service, adding over 568,000 new subscribers on Friday last week.
On Tuesday, the company said that ESPN+ will stream more than 1,425 live events this month, while the next episode of UFC Fight Night will stream on Feb. 23.
ESPN+ was solely meant to complement the traditional ESPN experience and does not include the network’s linear cable channel or the signature shows.
According to news reports, Disney’s first direct-to-consumer streaming service appears to be gaining strong momentum, even without SportsNews. However, it might initially take a hit of $150 million for its entertainment streaming service ‘Disney+’ as the company ceases licensing deals with Netflix.
During earnings call on Tuesday, Iger also pointed at the potential bundling of ESPN+ and Disney+ which is expected to launch this year, stating that users may get access to both the services together at a discounted rate. The company’s ultimate goal is to utilize the same technology in order to make it simple for consumers to sign to all three services, using the same username, password, credit card, and others. Hulu is also expected to factor into that equation once Disney closes the deal with Twenty-First Century Fox and earns the majority ownership.