ESPN's streaming service will cost $4.99, debut in spring

ESPN's streaming service will cost $4.99, debut in spring

Adjusted earnings per share for the company's first fiscal quarter came in at $1.89, up 22 percent compared to the year-ago $1.55, while easily eclipsing Thomson Reuters projections ($1.61). The House of Mouse, however, missed Wall Street estimates with a revenue increase of 4% to US$15.4 billion.

Disney shares closed higher in the US Tuesday, with after-hours activity also placing the stock in the green, Wednesday, as the media company posted upbeat - if mixed - results. The company's largest network, ESPN, will launch a streaming service for sports fans in 2018 followed by an entertainment offering the following year. It will be accessed within ESPN's existing free app. Iger says the service will offer access to over 10,000 events, including content from the MLB, NHL, MLS, tennis Grand Slam, and college sports.

The company is now building its own direct-to-consumer streaming service (and ending its licensing deal with Netflix) that will be Disney-branded and carry not only hundreds of films and shows from the Disney library but also Marvel and Star Wars titles.

Today, during an earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that there are "a few" Star Wars TV series in the works for their upcoming Disney streaming app.

Disney has a vast back catalog of programming and steady output from its movie and TV studios that it can funnel toward the new service.

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Profit at the media networks division fell 12 percent, mostly due to a decline at ABC, which saw lower advertising revenue and income from program sales, plus higher production cost write-downs.

The Last Jedi, which has recently passed $1.32 billion worldwide, helped keep the Studio Entertainment results in line with past year, which had the added benefit of both Moana and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

The company also announced it had hired the creators of HBO hit "Game of Thrones", David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, to write and produce a new series of "Star Wars" films.

Disney's movie studio turned out three blockbusters in the quarter.

"If anything points to what the future of ESPN looks like, it'll be this app", Iger said. "If they want to be successful, they have to bring all their content to streaming". Netflix, Iger said, "will have rights to the films that were made in 2016, 2017, 2018 for quite a long period of time thereafter with a window for us to use them ourselves that falls within the period of time or the tail that they'll have those rights".

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