Will You Pay $5 Per Month for the ESPN Plus Streaming Service?

Disney Beats Earnings Expectations, Falls Short on Revenue

Disney shares up on earnings beat, but revenue falls short

The sports-focused service called "ESPN Plus" will sit within a revamped ESPN app and cost users $4.99 per month.

The Disney-Fox deal comes as tech giants like Netflix and Amazon engage traditional medias in an increasingly competitive spending race on content. CNBC reported Monday that fear of being outspent was one of the main reasons Rupert Murdoch chose to sell those Fox assets.

In December, Disney announced a $52.4 billion deal to buy film, television and global assets from Twenty-First Century Fox Inc FOXA.O , a move that will allow it to offer more programming to online viewers.

In the fiscal first quarter, ESPN's ad revenue fell 11 percent, contributing to weakness in the company's media networks division, which logged a 12 percent decline in operating income on flat sales of $6.24 billion.

Disney is launching a new subscription called ESPN Plus, CEO Bob Iger announced Tuesday.

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Both streaming direct-to-consumer products will be powered by BAMTech.

"We'll continue to invest in original and exclusive content just for the app", he said. That may not bode well either for the Han Solo spinoff due this May or for the two new trilogies in the works - the latest, announced on Tuesday, to be written by the creators of "Game of Thrones".

For the December quarter, Disney reported net income of $4.42 billion and said revenue rose 3.8 percent to $15.4 billion.

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

Studio entertainment Q4 revenues slipped 1% to $2.504 billion.

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According to Nielsen coverage estimates, the ESPN network now reaches 86.7 million linear TV subscribers, or around 72 percent of all TV households.

Parks and resorts appeared to be Disney's strongest segment, with revenue up 13 percent and operating income up 21 percent.

Yet, the show-stealer of the evening from the analyst's perspective points to a revealed ESPN Plus- the company's first $4.99 per month direct to consumer offering.

ESPN is hoping to stem its losses from dropping membership in recent months by directly competing against the old model of pay television channel bundles. The unit benefited by higher theatrical distribution results of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Thor: Ragnarok in Q1 versus Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Doctor Strange in the prior-year quarter.

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