ESPN stretches for streaming debut

Disney is definitely going to make ESPN a standalone streaming service.

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The Future. After years of flip-flopping, a new report says that Disney is definitely going to make ESPN a standalone streaming service. The move may be a final turning point for cable, which routinely relies on the inclusion of ESPN (and its many offshoot channels) as a deal-closer for getting people to continue paying for cable subscriptions.

Stream team
ESPN will likely break free of traditional TV.

  • Disney has been renegotiating deals with cable providers and pro sports leagues to secure more flexibility in eventually launching ESPN as a standalone streaming service.
  • The project, dubbed “Flagship,” would bring all of the channel’s programming to streaming, as opposed to the limited offerings of ESPN+.
  • ESPN will still be available in traditional cable packages and other digital distributors — 74 million people currently have access to the channel, but that number shrinks yearly.

Disney hasn’t provided a date for when ESPN would untether from cable, but the company would probably like to sooner than later, considering the streaming wars have made sports rights the new battleground.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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