Thursday November 30, 2023

Disney Outlines Sports Plans At Annual Investors Day

LSU x Alabama
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
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Disney’s direct-to-consumer push is moving forward at full speed. 

ESPN’s digital platform ESPN+ will be directly integrated into Disney-owned Hulu next year, the company announced at its annual investor day Thursday. 

The sports streaming service has surpassed 11.5 million subscribers, more than triple what it had in Q4 2019, and expects to reach 20 million by 2024.

New ESPN+ Exclusives: 

  • Stephen A. Smith’s studio show, launching in January 
  • A daily morning highlights show
  • “PGA Tour Live on ESPN+,” featuring live coverage and on-demand replays
  • “Man in the Arena,” a nine-part Tom Brady docuseries, debuting in 2021 

Disney+, which now has over 86.8 million subscribers, will also get its share of sports content — including a “Mighty Ducks” series.

The platform will also stream original films based on the lives of some notable athletes:

  • NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo
  • Phoenix Suns guard and NBPA President Chris Paul
  • Former Oregon wide receiver Keanon Lowe, who disarmed a student with a loaded gun while working as a high school security guard last year

ESPN also announced a 10-year, roughly $3 billion rights deal with the SEC Conference, set to begin in 2024.

The agreement will see ESPN become the exclusive carrier of all SEC football and men’s basketball games, many of which will air on ESPN+. 

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