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Fans subscribed to ESPN’s streaming service, ESPN+, are about to see a major increase in their monthly subscriptions beginning in August. The service is currently $6.99/month but will jump to $9.99 in August, representing a 43% increase.
The pressure to increase the cost likely came from parent-company Disney, which is suffering through one of its worst periods in history. Today, we reported on former Disney president Bob Iger acknowledging that naming Bob Chapek CEO was a mistake.
That comes out as Disney’s stock continues to plummet. The stock hit $90.38 on Thursday, marking a low not seen since the middle of the pandemic when the entire market crashed. It’s the lowest the stock has been – non-pandemic-related – in eight years.
Streaming has crushed much of Disney and ESPN’s business model, and they have so far failed to adjust. Seems unlikely that raising prices will do much to increase the subscriber numbers.
In May, Disney reported that ESPN+ had just over 22 million subscribers. But it’s unclear how many of those subscribers belong to the Disney bundle (Disney+/Hulu/ESPN+). ESPN is no stranger to locking subscribers into a bundle with their content, even if customers don’t want it.
The bundle price, it’s worth noting, is not expected to increase from its current $13.99/month price tag. It’s possible that Disney is just trying to get everyone under that umbrella, to make all of their subscriber numbers look better.