Disney Is Reportedly In Talks With Amazon About ESPN Partnership
One of the biggest questions hovering over the future of The Walt Disney Company is what Disney will do with ESPN.
Both Bob Iger and ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro have been open about the fact that the future of the network will be in streaming. How a new direct-to-consumer model for the Worldwide Leader in Sports would look, however, remains unclear.
Disney Is Looking For Partners
As part of their plan to usher in a new era for the network, Disney has been looking for a strategic partner to join with them on ESPN. While Bob Iger has been adamant that the network is “core” to Disney’s business, a minority partner with expertise in streaming would not only help Disney transition ESPN, but it would also take some of the financial pressure off the Mouse House.
Last week, it was reported that Verizon was interested in partnering with Disney on ESPN, as a way to bolster their sports streaming business.
While a deal between Verizon and Disney made sense for a number of reasons, another possible partner is throwing their hat into the ESPN ring.
According to The Information, Amazon is now in early talks with Disney about working on the streaming version of ESPN, while also possibly taking a minority stake in the sports network.
Amazon is no stranger to sports steaming, having hosted Thursday Night Football for a number of years. Additionally, their Amazon Prime infrastructure could also be appealing to Disney.
Whether they partner with Amazon, Verizon, or another company, however, Disney is going to have to find a way to make an ESPN streaming platform profitable.
What Will A Streaming ESPN Cost?
With live sports rights costing the company billions of dollars, ESPN is reportedly considering charging between $20 and $35 dollars a month for the new streaming service.
Whether or not there is a consumer base out there who would be willing to pay such a high price-point, remains to be seen
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