Disney is planning a deep
dive into its future streaming video efforts in April. The company had more news to share about streaming on its quarterly earnings call, held Tuesday evening.
ESPN+, the sports streaming service, now has more than 2 million subscribers — twice as many as five months ago. That's bolstered by the launch of its exclusive UFC fights earlier this year. The first fight drew nearly 600,000 new subscribers to the service.
“ESPN+ operates on BAMTech's platform, which has proved to be reliably stable during peak live streaming consumption and easily handled the volume of more than half a million people signing up in a single 24-hour period,” CEO Bob Iger said on the call.
But talk about BAMTech pulled back the curtain on Disney’s plans.
Iger said that the same technology powering ESPN+ will be powering Disney+ when it launches later this year. Ultimately, the company intends to use one platform for all of its streaming services: ESPN+, Disney+, and Hulu.
“Ultimately, our goal would be to use the same tech platform to make it easier for people to sign up for all three, should they want to, same credit card, same username, same password ... “If they wanted to buy all three, we'd give them that opportunity, potentially at a discount, or two for that matter. But if they wanted to buy one of them, we believe they should be able to.”
Iger said that in the long run, the company intends to lean mostly on its own content assets. The Fox assets it will gain this year to program Disney+, however, will continue to acquire programming from outside companies.
Also, Disney will become a majority owner of Hulu when the Fox deal closes. Iger said international rollouts will happen. The company is betting that FX, which it will acquire in the Fox deal, can develop new or original programming for the premium streaming service.