Disney Raises ESPN+ Rates by 43% – Will the Increase Affect Your Subscription Package?
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Citing higher programming costs, Walt Disney will raise the price of its popular sports streaming service ESPN+ by 43%, marking its second price increase in just over a year, per Deadline.
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Viewers who subscribe to the Disney package — which includes Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu’s on-demand service — won’t be affected by this decision, nor will the price of UFC pay-per-view events increase. This is a standalone subscription price jump for monthly/annual ESPN+ streamers, and potentially a move that will entice more people to subscribe to a Disney package for just a fraction more than the single channel. ESPN+.
As Bloomberg Intelligence’s Geetha Ranganathan noted, there’s a shift underway for media companies, “from subscriber growth to profitability,” adding that “they’re even willing to risk a little unsubscribe if they can increase their ARPU (average revenue per user number).
Streaming prices, which are due to take effect on August 23, will increase to $9.99 per month from $6.99 and $99.99 per year from $69.99. The price increase will affect approximately 22.3 million ESPN+ subscribers, according to Bloomberg. For comparison, the single sports channels NBA League Pass and MLB.tv cost $14.99 and $24.99 per month, respectively. Disney plans cost $13.99 per month.
Spending and programming have grown significantly at ESPN+ since its debut in 2018. In addition to its extensive live sports coverage, the service now includes 1,000 out-of-market National Hockey League games, expanded PGA golf programming Tour and a bunch of original series. like “Man in the Arena: Tom Brady”, Peyton Manning’s “Peyton’s Places” and Derek Jeter’s upcoming program “The Captain”. TechCrunch says ESPN+ now offers over 22,000 live events.
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But more live coverage and original content comes at a cost. Despite aiming to turn a profit by 2023, Bloomberg reported that in the quarter that ended in April, ESPN+’s production and programming costs rose 48% to $454 million. dollars, while its “direct-to-consumer business” — which includes Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu — lost $887 million in the same quarter.
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