Disney CEO Bob Iger’s New Plan Will Be World’s Most Expensive Streaming Service

in Disney, Television

Bob Iger sitting alongside ESPN and Disney+ logos

Credit: Masterclass/Inside the Magic

Embattled Disney CEO Bob Iger has a new plan for saving the House of Mouse: get fans to pay for the world’s most expensive service.

Bob Iger poses in front of a sign reading "The Walt Disney Company."
Credit: ABC

In the last year, things have gone from bad to worse for the Walt Disney Company. Although Disney is one of the biggest and most popular media companies in the world, it has lost hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office after a series of disappointing theatrical releases, while its Disney+ streaming service is bleeding customers.

Not only that, but the company is locked in a bitter feud with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, which originally began when former CEO Bob Chapek eventually spoke out against the controversial Parental Rights in Education Act (better known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law). Now, Disney and DeSantis have multiple lawsuits against each other, creating a huge PR crisis for both.

Ron DeSantis speaking, Bob Iger (Disney CEO) looking pensive.
Credit: Inside the Magic

Related: Outraged Fans Demand Change After CEO Bob Iger Invokes Walt Disney

Now, Bob Iger has an idea of how to turn the ship around, and it will likely cost audiences an arm and a leg.

Disney and ESPN

Not that long ago, Kevin Mayer was one of the top executives at Disney and a presumed successor to then and future CEO Bob Iger, before he left things in the hands of Bob Chapek. Mayer ran the streaming aspect of the company, including Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, and Hotstar, and was recently brought back to act as a consultant to his former boss.

At the Yahoo! Finance Invest conference in New York this week (per The Hollywood Reporter), Mayer confirmed that Bob Iger has one main priority for the entire company: to turn ESPN into a cash cow. Mayer revealed Iver is “definitely most focused on making sure that ESPN, a company that he really believes in strongly, is well positioned for the future.”

Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu logos
Credit: Disney

It seems that Iger has grown obsessed with turning the sports-oriented basic cable channel into a must-have streaming service and has been rumored to be actively courting companies like Apple, Comcast, Major League Baseball, and the National Football League to expand ESPN+ into a much more major facet of the company.

ESPN++ Price Tag

Mayer went on to say that Iger’s primary concern is “to have content partners who can really strengthen our hand and allow us to create multiple tiers of offerings…And we want to have distribution partners, so you think digital, you think telcos, those types of players.”

While the former Disney executive did not have a confirmed monthly subscription price for Iger’s new and expanded vision of ESPN+, he acknowledged that streaming analysts’ estimate of a whopping $30 a month to be “very reasonable” and within expectations.

Netflix, Hulu, and Max

For comparison, Disney recently raised the price tag of ad-free Disney+ to $13.99 a month. Most major streaming platforms have begun testing the limits of consumer loyalty by increasing subscription fees; Hulu charges $17.99, Max goes for $15.99, and Netflix’s Standard with ads is a comparatively low $6.99.

Netflix logo superimposed over the planet Earth
Credit: Netflix/Inside the Magic

Related: Billionaire Wants To Buy Disney, Says Bob Iger “Is Not Ready”

However, Netflix Premium, which includes Ultra HD visuals, multiple simultaneous streaming, and non-household members, currently goes for $22.99

Clearly, Disney’s feeling that $30 is reasonable is not based on the current pricing of its competitors.

CEO Bob Iger has shown himself to be so dedicated to ESPN as the future of Disney, that he is even willing to turn it into a gambling service. Apparently, that’s not where he’ll end.

Would you pay $30 a month for a fully-loaded ESPN streaming service, or is Disney going too far? Give us your thoughts in the comments below!

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