Is Disney Raising ESPN+ Cost To Increase Disney+ Bundle Subscribers?

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Disney is raising prices on their streaming again, raising ESPN+ monthly costs from $6.99 – $9.99 and raising the annual price from $69.99-$99.99. This is the second price hike for the ESPN+ service since 2020. The new cost will begin on August 23, 2022.

Disney is likely raising the costs to help pay for all the expensive sports coverage deals that they have been doing lately like their $2.6 billion / year Monday Night Football deal and paying for more live event coverage. ESPN+ needs to make more money to pay for all these sporting event contracts.

However, they are keeping the Disney bundle price the same at $13.99 for Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu.

I think that’s the point right there.

It would appear to consumers as a much better deal to pay the extra $4 to get the bundle. Disney already used their one time pass on switching Hulu live TV subscribers to a bundle, that includes Disney+ and ESPN+ to pad the numbers. Finding other ways to increase costs and promote their “deal” packages to entice people to just subscribe to it all is likely a priority. Then they can go to the board and investors and brag about how many more subscribers Disney+ and Hulu got.

Several news outlets are already telling people to switch to the bundle to get “a better deal.”

Disney has a subscriber goal for Disney+ set at 230 million+ by 2024 and as of the end of last year they were at a bit more than half of that total with 137.7 million subscribers. If you’ve listened to any of the investor calls you know that the subscriber numbers are an important pain point for the company, especially since they switched their entire business model to focus on the streaming market.

There has already been talk that the loss of IPL cricket coverage in India could cost them about 20 million global subscribers. Now Disney needs to do what it can to replace those losses. By making the bundle seems like a more attractive deal at $4 more than just ESPN+, it seems they are hoping to entice sports fans into the whole package.

Even if it just turns out to be about offsetting rising sporting event costs, a 43% price increase is going to immediately drive up initial revenue. Disney’s 2022 fiscal year will end on September 30 and this would provide them at least one month with a 40% boost to report to the board.

At the end of the day it’s about boosting the numbers so the investors think they are making gains. They will be, from a certain point of view.

What do you think? Comment and let us know.

 


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