Disney's ESPN is rolling out ESPN+ on Thursday, its first ever direct-to-consumer service in the United States.
The service will feature 10,000 live sporting events in its first year, including Major League Baseball and NHL Hockey, as well as exclusive studio programming that won't be available on the network's linear channels, a library of on-demand programs, and past sporting events.
One show ESPN expects to be popular is a basketball analysis show called "Detail," written, produced and hosted by Kobe Bryant, where the former basketball star breaks down NBA games played the day before.
The service will cost $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year.
Disney's Direct-to-consumer and International Chairman Kevin Mayer said ESPN+ has a "bulletproof and robust technology" that he expects to be a real bottom-line contributor, although there are going to be a "number of years where it is in a loss-making position but it will be profitable in the not too distant future."
Mayer said there isn't enough space for all the sports on linear television, so fans who have been underserved will now have access to what they've been missing out on.
"We have been a wholesaler in the past, and now we are going to be a retailer. ... We are going to be able to capture a lot of value for shareholders," Mayer told reporters this week.
Although the app will be launching with a robust amount of content, ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro said the company will be adding more on a regular basis.
"We are going to learn, we are going to examine the data daily, and make changes both on the product side and also on the content side, look and see what's working, what's not, what's resonating what's not, and go out there and try to secure additional rights," Pitaro said in an interview with CNBC.