- Disney Considering Selling Minority Stake In ESPN
- DAZN Is One Of The Leading Contenders To Partner With
- The Streaming Service Will Face Inevitable Powerful Competition
Disney is considering selling a minority stake in 73m subscriber ESPN and DAZN looks to be one of the key players in the mix.
Bob Iger, Disney CEO, revealed last month that the mass media company might consider selling a minority stake in ESPN or forming a strategic partnership with a company that could assist an inevitable ‘streaming-first’ transition.
ESPN’s subscriber numbers are declining year-on-year and the US giant, which at one point commanded more than 100m subscribers, now has 73m paying customers.
This represents the inevitable transition from linear TV to a streaming-first mode; and ESPN, as a result, could now look to partner up with a streaming giant.
DAZN’s presence in more than 200 markets combined with a 60m registered userbase could be an appealing combination for the US-focused ESPN.
Mark Kleinman, in his CITY A.M. column, believes that former DAZN chairman Kevin Mayer, who is now an adviser to Iger, could be a ‘helpful factor’ in striking a potential deal.
DAZN Will Face Inevitable Competition
However, there is significant competition in the bid to partner with ESPN.
Verizon has initiated talks with Disney regarding the future launch of a direct-to-consumer version of ESPN that will launch in the coming years.
Apple, Amazon and Google are other giants that have been linked with an ESPN DTC partnership.
Even if a deal cannot be reached to buy a % in ESPN, it is understood that an agreement which could see DAZN as a global distributor for 25m subscribers ESPN + is also on the cards.
*All information used in this article is sourced by the links provided unless otherwise stated.