Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) segment announced that its streaming service, ESPN+, has signed up more than 1 million paying customers since the app debuted this past April.
The company said the vast majority are new viewers who have adopted the service since its launch. Subscribers to the predecessor platform ESPN Insider were ported over earlier this year, but ESPN said those represent “a significant minority of the total.
The company has been hard at work building out its USD 4.99 per month streaming service, offering sports fans hundreds of live games each year from Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, and Grand Slam Tennis. The platform also offers a variety of worldwide professional sports including soccer, cricket, and rugby, as well as top-ranked boxing and UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) bouts.
Kevin Mayer, the head of DTCI, added, “We’re thrilled so many sports fans have quickly come to love the service. The future is bright and we believe growth will continue as we add features, distribution partners, and more exclusive content in the coming months.”
The number of cable subscribers has fallen in recent years, pressured by changing consumer habits and an increasing number of viewing options. After peaking at over 100 million in 2010, ESPN subscribers have steadily declined, falling to 88 million to end 2017, down about 12% over the previous seven years.
The company’s next solo effort is scheduled to debut late next year with a Disney-branded service, which will incorporate content from its Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Disney studios, as well as original programming, developed just for the service.