Earlier this week, Disney announced a new partnership with Warner Brothers Discovery and Fox to launch a new untitled sports streaming service, that will offer the full suite of ESPN’s channels. 

The new platform is going to be launched this fall and will bring together content from all of these companies’ combined assets, including all the major professional sports leagues and college sports.

This announcement raised questions about Disney launching its own full direct-to-consumer version of ESPN, and Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed during today’s quarterly financial investors call that the new ESPN streaming service will be launched in August 2025.   This new version is different to ESPN+ (though it’s likely this will be replaced by the new version).

Disney will offer ESPN as a stand-alone streaming option with innovative digital features, creating a one-stop sports destination unlike anything available in the marketplace today.

It was also announced that the new ESPN streaming service will also be available within Disney+, for those with the Disney Streaming Bundle, similar to how Hulu On Disney+ operates.

Bob Iger said in a statement:

“Ultimately, our mission is to make ESPN into the preeminent digital sports brand, reaching as many sports fans as possible and giving them even more ways to access the programming they love, in whatever way best suits their needs.  One way will be through the new streaming sports service coming this fall that we announced yesterday in conjunction with Fox and Warner Brothers Discovery. This service will bring together our collective portfolios of sports channels and direct-to-consumer services – on a non-exclusive basis – providing consumers with more of the sports they want in a single place.

It’s important for us to serve the needs of consumers looking for a seamless way to access an aggregated collection of sports-centric content, including capturing fans moving away from the full cable and satellite bundle. And it’s an attractive business proposition for ESPN, allowing us to command per unit economics in line with established market rates for our sports content, just like we do with any streaming or linear service where we offer our programming.

Another exciting option available to sports fans will come in the fall of 2025 when we make the full suite of ESPN’s channels available as a stand-alone and highly interactive digital destination.

Not only will consumers be able to stream their favorite live games and studio programming, they’ll also have access to engaging digital integrations like ESPN Bet and fantasy sports, e-commerce features, and a deep array of sports stats — all of which we know will be incredibly compelling to younger sports fans in particular. It will also have very robust personalization features.

This is all part of the ambitious streaming strategy we’ve been building. From our acquisition of 21st Century Fox that expanded our vast content library and strong pool of creative talent, to the launch of Disney+ as the home to a century of content, to securing full control of Hulu and expanding our streaming offerings to reach greater audiences, to our significant investments in technology, and now taking significant steps toward ESPN’s streaming future.

What do you think of the new ESPN app being available within Disney+?  Let us know on social media!

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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