Verizon And Disney Have Reportedly Talked About ESPN Streaming Partnership

Bob Iger, Current CEO of the Walt Disney Company, has said that he’s looking for strategic partners to help launch a new ESPN streaming service, and Verizon is already looking to be considered, according to a report from The Information.

What’s Happening:

  • Not to be confused with ESPN+, Disney CEO Bob Iger is looking to launch a new streaming version of the ESPN cable channel, and looking for strategic partners with which to do so.
  • Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg has been very forward and is quite open to the idea, reportedly telling executives at sports leagues and teams that he is interested in partnering with Disney on the distribution of a streaming version of ESPN.
  • If this were to occur, Verizon would then be able to offer a streaming version of the full ESPN channel, reaching 100 million wireless subscribers that could receive the channel as part of their wireless service.
  • This would be a great start to the new platform, as Iger wants Disney to retain control of ESPN, telling analysts recently that the company was looking for partners to help “distribution, technology, marketing, and content opportunities” as ESPN shifts from a cable channel to a streaming service, adding that he “received notable interest from many different entities.”
  • Though Iger has also previously dropped hints that Disney is looking to sell its traditional TV networks, he has also emphasized that sports remain key to the company’s future.
  • This wouldn’t be the first time the Walt Disney Company worked with Verizon, as back when the Disney+ service launched in 2019, Verizon partnered with Disney to offer cellular and cable customers free access to the new platform for a year. To this day, Verizon still offers the popular Disney Bundle (Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+) at a discount price to customers.
  • Reports say that because of these existing partnerships, Disney and Verizon execs are regularly in some kind of discussion.
  • Disney has also been in talks with top sports leagues in the county, the NFL, NBA, and MLB, regarding potential partnerships, which we reported on back in July.

Sign up for Disney+ or the Disney Streaming Bundle (Disney+, ESPN+, and ad-supported Hulu) now

Tony Betti
Originally from California where he studied a dying artform (hand-drawn animation), Tony has spent most of his adult life in the theme parks of Orlando. When he’s not writing for LP, he’s usually watching and studying something animated or arguing about “the good ole’ days” at the parks.