During Disney’s four hour webstream Investor Day presentation, the Walt Disney Company revealed their vision of the future and the path they’ll be following for the next several years. From Disney studios to streaming services, various leadership teams at Disney shared big announcements for how these divisions will be operating going forward, along with some of the new content that will be available soon on these platforms.
This recap covers the ESPN+, Star, and Hulu portion of the presentation. We’ve also recapped the announcements for Disney+ Originals and Disney Studios in a separate post. Additionally, for up to the minute news as it was happening, please check out our Live Blog or Investor Day Hub for more on the day’s events.
Disney Streaming Services Investor Day News
Below are highlights and links to the biggest stories and announcements that came out of today’s Investor Day presentation. Since launching ESPN+, Disney+, and taking majority control of Hulu, The Walt Disney Company has been pleased with the success of the streaming services on a national and global scale. They have met or exceeded subscription projections for each of their direct-to-consumer and on demand offerings.
Hulu (North America)
To kick off the Hulu content portion of the presentation, Kelly Campbell, President of Hulu offered some quick facts about the platform’s overall growth and performance. The platform currently has 38.8 million subscribers across their various subscription tiers which include ad-supported, no ads, and Live TV options.
Later in the presentation, Walt Disney Television Chairman of Entertainment Dana Walden shared exclusive clips from the platform’s upcoming series:
- Only Murders in the Building – stars Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez
- The Dropout – stars Kate McKinnon as Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes
- Dopesick – stars Michael Keaton, Peter Sarsgaard, Will Poulter, John Hoogenakker with Kaitlyn Dever and Rosario Dawson
- Nine Perfect Strangers – hails from David E. Kelly and stars Nicole Kidman, Melissa McCarthy, Michael Shannon, Luke Evans, Bobby Cannavale, Regina Hall, Samara Weaving, Melvin Gregg, Asher Keddie, Grace Van Patten, Tiffany Boone and Manny Jacinto
- The Handmaid’s Tale
- Walden also announced that Hulu has renewed The Handmaid’s Tale for a fifth season ahead of its fourth season premiere in 2021.
- Coming soon, subscribers will be able to opt for the No Ads tier of Hulu with the Disney Bundle (Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu) for an additional $6 per month.
- The Disney Bundle with Ad Supported Hulu will also remain available.
- The price of Disney+ will be going up by $1 from $6.99/month to $7.99/month in early 2021. Disney hasn’t yet announced if this will affect the current Disney Bundle pricing which is set at $12.99/month.
What She’s Saying:
- Walt Disney Television Chairman of Entertainment Dana Walden: “We’re laser focused on creating great content for Disney’s streaming platforms. Our content strategy? Highly curated programming. We’re making hard choices about which shows we produce. Landing on content that feels special, and is both highly entertaining and part of the cultural conversation.”
FX and FX on Hulu
FX remains focused on bringing audiences high quality content both on television and through streaming. They announced some of the new programs currently in development for the network and FX on Hulu.
- In May of 2020 FX announced It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia had been renewed for a 15th season. During the Investor Day presentation, FX Chairman John Landgraf announced an additional 3 seasons for a total of 18 seasons.
Coming Soon to FX on Hulu (U.S.) and Star (International)
- American Horror Stories – anthology series from Ryan Murphy spun off from American Horror Story
- The Old Man – stars Jeff Bridges, John Lithgow, and Amy Brenneman
- Y: The Last Man – stars Diane Lane, Ashley Romans, Ben Schnetzer, Olivia Thirlby, Amber Tamblyn, Marin Ireland, Diana Bang, Elliot Fletcher and Juliana Canfield
- Other shows and programs in early development will be announced in the future.
Currently in development:
- FX is moving quickly to bring audiences the first television series based on one of the greatest science fiction horror classics ever made: Alien.
- Alien will be helmed by Fargo and Legion’s Noah Hawley stepping into the creator/executive producer chair, and FX is in advanced negotiations with Sir Ridley Scott—director of Alien and Alien: Covenant.
- Set not too far into our future, it’s the first Alien story set on Earth—and by blending both the timeless horror of the first Alien film with the non-stop action of the second, it’s going to be a scary thrill ride that will blow people back in their seats.
- Platform, from BJ Novak is a half-hour anthological television series from FX that uses the boldest issues of our times as a jumping off point to tell singular, character-driven stories about the world we live in today.
- The first episode stars Lucas Hedges, Kaitlyn Dever, O’Shea Jackson Jr., George Wallace, Ed Asner, Brendan Francis Scannell, among others.
- The second episode stars Jon Bernthal, Boyd Holbrook, Amy Landecker, Beau Bridges, and more.
- Reservation Dogs, a new half hour comedy, coming-of-age story about four Native American teenagers growing up on a reservation in eastern Oklahoma who spend their days committing crimes… and fighting it.
- The series co-created by Sterlin Harjo, and Taika Waititi.
- The series stars D’Pharoah Woon-A-Tai, Devery Jacobs, Paulina Alexis and Lane Factor.
- FX is embarking on one of the most sweeping, sophisticated and adult series FX has ever created—a retelling of James Clavell’s beloved epic saga, Shōgun, set within the riveting and real Game of Thrones that was feudal Japan.
- It is adapted by Justin Marks and Rachel Kondo.
- Tim Van Patten has signed on to bring this giant and visceral canvas to life.
What He’s Saying:
- FX Chairman John Landgraf: “We focused relentlessly on giving our audience some of the very best television anywhere, and they responded by turning FX into more than just the name of a cable channel….But the best is still to come. You can see how well Disney’s strategy to brand FX content is already working—and how bright the future is for both the FX brand and for the contributions it will make to both Hulu in the US and Star internationally.”
Disney’s direct to consumer sports hub for live events, recaps, and original scripted and unscripted programming is ESPN+. Disney is happy with the platform’s performance and announced some of the exciting changes and offerings that will be coming soon to ESPN+ and the ESPN network. And launching soon in the U.S., ESPN+ will be available for purchase and viewing through Hulu.
- ESPN has reached an exclusive 10 year deal with Southeastern Conference or SEC for multi-media distribution rights to all SEC football, basketball and Olympic sports events beginning in 2024-25.
- Additionally, select non-conference SEC football and men’s basketball games will be available on ESPN+ beginning with the 2021-22 season.
- Starting in the 2024 season, ABC will become the exclusive home of SEC College football.
- Through this new agreement, ESPN is the exclusive media rights holder for all SEC sports through 2033-34.
Stephen A’s World
- Stephen A’s World is a new weeknight program debuting in January. Stephen A. Smith will go beyond the sports headlines to give the audience an authentic and unique understanding of the stories that matter.
- The show will bring viewers his entertaining perspective, including deep expertise and unparalleled relationships with some of the most influential figures in sports, entertainment, and beyond.
- The new 30-minute episodes will be available every Monday-Friday at 7 pm ET on ESPN+ and available anytime on-demand.
Man in the Arena
- The highly-anticipated nine-part documentary series is built around Tom Brady’s never-before-seen, firsthand accounts of the journey to each of his nine Super Bowls (six victories, three defeats) will premiere exclusively on ESPN+ in 2021.
- Peyton’s Places, currently in its second season, has been picked up for a third season on ESPN+.
- Additionally, the Peyton’s Places franchise will expand to include even more sports with David Ortiz, Abby Wambach, Eli Manning, and Ronda Rousey hosting their own versions.
- Like the 26 original Peyton’s Places, each series will aim to bring fans of all ages and types closer to the personalities, memorable moments and unknown stories that shaped the sport.
- Season three is expected to debut in Fall 2021, with the first of the new sports-specific series debuting in the first quarter of calendar year 2021.
- A newly reimagined SportsNation will return exclusively on ESPN+ in January.
- The daily studio show, available every weekday morning at 6 am ET, will deliver highlights-driven recaps of the latest in sports through the lens of opinion, debate, and the internet.
Star is a new general entertainment content brand from The Walt Disney Company to be included in the Disney+ streaming service in select markets outside the U.S. and launching as a separate streaming service in Latin America as Star+.
- Star programming on Dinsey+ will roll out in certain European countries, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore beginning on February 23, 2021. It will roll out to other markets later in the year.
- With this additional content now available on demand, the monthly price of Disney+ will go up slightly:
- Canada: $11.99/m or $119.99/y
- Australia: $11.99/m or $119.99/y
- New Zealand: $12.99/m or $129.99/y
- UK: £7.99/m or £79.90/y
- Euro: 8.99/m or 89.90/y
- Norway: 89.00kr/m or 890.00kr/y
- Denmark: 79.00kr/m or 790.00kr/y
- Sweden: 89.00 kr/m or 890.00 kr/y
- Switzerland: CHF12.90/m or CHF129.00/y
- Singapore: $11.98/m or $119.98/y
- Select Hulu Original and FX titles will also be available through the service including:
- Unlike Hulu, Star won’t carry titles from other studios, and instead will only carry TV shows and films from:
- For subscribers in Latin American countries, Star+ will be available as a standalone service starting in Summer of 2021 for $7.50 per month (or the local equivalent).
- Star+ will carry Disney-owned entertainment from its top brands as well as ESPN+ and ESPN content including live international sports content.
- Star+ can also be combined as a bundle with Disney+ for $9.00 per month (or the local equivalent).