ESPN Plus to launch at $4.99 per month

ESPN Plus to launch at $4.99 per month

CEO Bob Iger is confident that the company's soon-to-be-launched direct-to-consumer streaming service can comfortably compete with industry leader Netflix Inc. In Q1, the segment benefited from higher results at domestic parks and growth at Disney Cruise Line and Disney Vacation Club. Disney shares increased about 3 percent in after-hours trading, to $106.17. "Powered by BAMTech's proprietary technology, the service will offer a greatly expanded array of programmes and live events for sports fans who want even more content, as well as for fans interested in sports and events not now featured on the main channels", he noted.

Analysts on average expected earnings of $1.61 on revenue of $15.5 billion, according to Thomson Financial Network. The hugely anticipated service will be part of a new ESPN app, which Iger revealed shortly after the company posted its quarterly earnings.

Disney's media network group's operating income fell 12% to $1.19 billion on flat revenue at $6.24 billion.

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"We don't really have any update on the regulatory front", Mr. Iger said, adding that he intends to be "patient" as antitrust officials scrutinize the acquisition. If, like me, you have no clue what that means, Iger elaborated a bit during an interview with CNBC. "It's more likely than not that you won't see new co-finance deals but we will respect and honor the deals they have in place". The announcement comes after another disappointing quarter for ESPN, with decreased ad revenue and higher programming costs compared to the prior year. However, those who do pay for cable will be able to access additional content on the streaming service, including live feeds of ESPN's cable broadcasts - after authenticating through your internet service provider, of course. Advertising revenue at ESPN also dropped; Disney cited a timing shift in college football playoff games as one reason.

Studio entertainment revenue was helped by strong theatrical distribution sales from "Thor: Ragnarok" and "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" but offset by lower home entertainment and subscription video on demand sales.

BAMTech, which Disney has invested billions of dollars in, and runs streaming for HBO, MLB, WWE (WWE - Free Report), will power this new service.

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