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ESPN’s Standalone Streaming Service Set to Launch by Fall 2025

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Disney CEO Bob Iger announced during the company's quarterly earnings call that the standalone ESPN streaming service is slated to launch by the fall of 2025. This service will provide access to the complete range of ESPN networks through a streaming platform. While Disney had previously mentioned the service, this announcement provides a more specific timeline for its release, although further details about the offering were not provided at this time.

Bob Iger specified that the standalone ESPN streaming service will include live games and studio programming currently available on various cable channels. Additionally, users can access features like ESPN Bet and fantasy sports, as well as detailed statistics and shopping capabilities. The service will also offer robust personalization options to enhance the user experience.

The announcement of the standalone ESPN streaming service comes shortly after Disney's collaboration with Fox and Warner Brothers Discovery on a combined sports streaming service, set to launch this fall. This service will offer games from major leagues such as NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA through various channels including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SECN, ACCN, ESPNEWS, ABC, FOX, FS1, FS2, BTN, TNT, TBS, truTV, and ESPN. While pricing details have not been disclosed, subscribers will have the option to bundle this service with existing Disney+, Hulu, and Max subscriptions. This collaboration allows users to stream ESPN networks without requiring a cable or other live TV subscription, providing an alternative option until Disney's standalone service debuts. However, the combined offering is likely to be more expensive due to the inclusion of additional channels from Fox and Warner Brothers Discovery.

Indeed, Disney's current offering, ESPN+, provides live streaming of games but does not offer access to live content airing on ESPN networks. As a result, ESPN+ has served as a supplement to traditional cable channels. However, Disney has not yet provided details on how its various services, including ESPN+, will coexist after the launch of the standalone ESPN streaming service in the fall of next year. It remains to be seen how Disney will position and differentiate these services to cater to the diverse needs and preferences of sports fans.

It's noteworthy that the standalone ESPN streaming service will also be accessible to Disney+ bundle subscribers, similar to how Disney has integrated Hulu into its bundle offerings. While pricing details for the new ESPN service have not been disclosed yet, Disney has ample time to promote and build anticipation for the service before its launch in the fall of 2025. Bob Iger's statement that the price would be "more attractive" than traditional cable bundles suggests that Disney aims to offer competitive pricing to attract subscribers to its standalone ESPN offering.

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