Walt Disney announced earnings after the bell yesterday. Revenue increased partly due to ad sales from ESPN.
Disney also announced a new content deal with Sony’s PlayStation Vue. The internet service will add ESPN, ABC and Disney Channel to its streaming line-up. It already has channels like Comedy Central, MTV, and USA Network.
The entry level price starts at $50 a month. No word yet if this new deal will translate into a higher subscription cost.
But the pairing creates another alternative for consumers looking to cut the cord.
Depending on how you look at it, the broader move from traditional cable TV packages to digital television makes this either a very messy time for media companies, or a very innovative one.
“It’s messy and innovative,” said James McQuivey, a media analyst at Forrester Research.
The companies that make and own content are experimenting with all sorts of distribution models–from Netflix to Amazon to Sony to their own dot coms.
They want to be sure to build the consumer and business relationships they’ll need, once the market does start picking some winners. “They know that once the model starts to coalesce, it’s going to coalesce quickly,” said McQuivey.
But all that experimentation isn’t without some risks. “ESPN and Disney are still very much invested in the traditional paid TV ecosystem,” said eMarketer analyst Paul Verna. “Anything that takes viewers away from that is at some level a threat to their business.”
But, the bigger risk today may be to ignore consumers who want to watch when, and where, and on the device that they want to watch on.