Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS)’s ESPN lost 7 million subscribers with viewers increasingly embracing cord-cutters, but ESPN seems not to be in dire need of offering directly to the consumers. John Skipper, man in charge, is not worried about the changing consumer preference. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) launched its Apple TV and it is one of the platforms bring in younger viewers to the forefront, but Skipper noted that they were not in such a hurry to embrace these alternative platforms.
Skipper noted that he expect to have further announcement in 2016 regarding other kinds of package. He particularly said that they aim at bringing younger subscribers to the market and Apple were making an advantageous operating system alongside a great television experience and this TV experience might be fabulous for sports.
ESPN is however neither ignoring nor are they clueless to the sands, which are shifting around. Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), for instance, is seeing increasing number of subscribers, and if they continue this way, they are set to be one of the leading players on TV.
Currently, most people are cutting down on the use of the cable and preferring to select smaller packages, which includes only channels they are interested in. Skipper defended ESPN and noted that pay TV are the third most popular platform of viewing television after heat and electricity. He also noted that they are still one of the most successful businesses in the history of media.
ESPN explained that the reason they lost 7 million subscribers in just two years was that most of them were embracing new services, where they can customize and create bundles on their own e.g. Sling TV, which has 23 channels for only $20 per month. The only challenge with this explanation is that Sling TV has only signed about 400,000 customers to date. This is quite a small fraction as compared to the 7 million lost by ESPN.