Disney's ESPN streaming service will launch this spring, costing $4.99

Disney Earnings: Fox Acquisition, 'Star Wars' Fatigue Fears May Overshadow ESPN Subscribers

Disney said it earned an adjusted $1.89 a share, compared to the $1.61 that Wall Street expected for the quarter ending.

The owner of the Mickey Mouse and Star Wars reported revenue up 4% to $15.3bn, driven by a 13% rise at parks and resorts to $5.1bn.

Facing lower ad revenue and lagging membership, ESPN will launch in the coming months a paying streaming service, Disney CEO Bob Iger said Tuesday.

The company's net income increase was partly due to a US$1.6 billion one-time tax benefit associated with new USA federal income tax legislation.

Plus will give subscribers access to thousands of more games and more leagues, including Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, college sports, grand slam tennis, rugby, cricket and boxing.

Frasier Actor John Mahoney Has Died At The Age Of 77…
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Scores, highlights, shows like Pardon the Interruption, and ESPN films - including the acclaimed 30 for 30 documentaries - will also be available on the service.

With traditional cable TV subscriptions in decline, Iger boasted that ESPN Plus will let sports fans access the network's content any way they want. ESPN's advertising revenue declined 11% y-o-y in the first quarter, as higher rates were more than offset by a decrease in impressions.

Looking at Disney's Consumer Products and Interactive Media segment, revenue decreased by 2% to US$1.5 billion, while operating income fell by 4% to US$617 million. Iger is also enthused about the next Marvel movie, Black Panther, which has been getting strong word of mouth and praise from critics.

Both streaming direct-to-consumer products will be powered by BAMTech. 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. Disney's Iger elaborated further on the app during his interview with CNBC. The apps will also be an opportunity for Disney to exploit all of the Fox content Disney acquires once its $52.4 billion purchase of Fox makes its way through the federal regulatory process.

During the earnings call, Iger said that Disney is now developing "a few" Star Wars series for the new app, and is close to unveiling one of the projects soon.

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