Disney's ESPN streaming coming with new app, $4.99/month price

|By:, SA News Editor

On an earnings call following a mixed Q1 report for Disney (NYSE:DIS), CEO Bob Iger says the company's upcoming sports streaming service from ESPN will cost $4.99/month.

It will come with a heavily redesigned app, a "one-app approach," and as planned will feature sports events not available on linear ESPN channels.

Shares are now up 1.7% after hours.

The new app's "technological guts" will be "completely redone," Iger says, and will focus on three major offerings, Iger says: 1) tons of scores and highlights and news stories about sports, highly personalized; 2) "live streaming of the networks themselves" on an authenticated basis, a la the current Watch ESPN app, "ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU etc."; 3) ESPN Plus, with "incremental thousands of hours" of programming, including the 30 for 30 library and content made only for the app.

Meanwhile, Disney's coming branded app will have less content than Netflix because its content will be more appealing overall, Iger says.

While television subs were down Y/Y again (by 3%), "We did see a modest sequential improvement in Q1, for the second straight quarter ... driven by adoption of MVPD digital platforms," says CFO Christine McCarthy.

In parks, Two Toy Story lands are coming, one in late April in Shanghai and another in Orlando at "some point later this year." They're not as large as Cars land but "large enough," Iger says. Another Toy Story film is coming in 2019.

Disney's effective tax rate with the new law was -19.4%, vs. a prior-year 33.2%.

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