Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger told CNBC's "Closing Bell" that the company will price ESPN Plus, the company's first direct-to-consumer streaming service, at $4.99 per month. That product will roll out with the relaunch of the ESPN app this spring, Iger said.
Iger said ESPN Plus will offer "an array of live programming that is not available — live sports, live sports events — that is not available on current channels, and that's by the thousands." In a December call with analysts, Iger explained that this ESPN streaming service was intended to be an add-on for the "ultimate sports fan" subscriber.
The ESPN announcement comes amid a 1 percent year-over-year decline in segment operating income for Disney's cable networks business. The company said in its Tuesday release that ESPN saw lower advertising revenue in the fiscal first quarter.
A shift in the timing of the College Football Playoff games negatively impacted average viewership, the company said. These decreases at ESPN, however, were partially offset by growth at Disney Channel and Freeform.
Parks and resorts were a bright spot during the first quarter. The segment brought in $5.15 billion in revenue, besting a StreetAccount consensus estimate of $4.86 billion.
But Disney's other businesses reported revenue that fell short of Wall Street projections. Here's how much each segment brought in compared with what analysts projected, according to StreetAccount consensus estimates:
- Media and networks: $6.24 billion vs. $6.35 billion expected
- Parks and resorts: $5.15 billion vs. $4.86 billion expected
- Studio: $2.50 billion vs. $2.75 billion expected
- Consumer and interactive: $1.45 billion vs. $1.52 billion
For the studio segment, Iger said during a Tuesday earnings call that ticket presales for "Black Panther" are "outpacing every other superhero movie ever made, driven in part to the phenomenal reaction to the premier last week."