Two years ago, Disney CEO Bob Iger acknowledged that ESPN, long a major profit center for Disney, was shedding subscribers. On Tuesday, Disney announced a plan intended to start bolstering ESPN's fortunes.
For starters, the sports service will now launch a streaming sports service in early 2018, Disney said. The service, to be delivered through the ESPN app, will offer baseball, hockey, soccer and tennis matches, as well as college sports.
Notably, ESPN will not be streaming pro football or basketball, at least initially.
Disney is also buying a majority stake in streaming service BAMTech for $1.6 billion. That ups Disney's ownership to 75 percent, from 33 percent. The service was started by Major League Baseball, which remains a minority owner along with the National Hockey League.
Note: I posted a related story from a different source in the The Entertainment Forum. We'll have to wait for the pricing structure -- most likely it will be monthly subscription. For me, the ideal would be pay-per-view, though I understand my viewing habits are probably in the minority compared to other viewers.