Between 2013-2016, ESPN (DIS) has lost 9 million subscribers, dropping from 99 million subscribers to 90 million, and recent Nielsen figures indicate that the figure could now be as low as 87 million. At an estimated $7.50/subscriber, you can assess that DIS incurred a $1.08 billion deficit over that time frame, with the number still growing. DIS shareholders are hopeful that their recently announced OTT streaming service will offset the losses. It is difficult to project if that is going to be the case. The business model, price point and content to be included have yet to be announced.
Howie Long-Short: The question is not even whether this nebulous minor-league streaming service can offset cable subscriber losses, but how much further losses to come they can stem. Without any details, it sounds like not enough–and not soon enough.
Fan Marino: I don’t see 12 million people signing up at $7.50/mo., to watch games that aren’t good enough to be broadcast on the mothership.