Walt Disney (DIS) - Get Walt Disney Company Report plans to raise its monthly and annual subscription fees for sports streaming platform ESPN+ for the second time this year amid stronger post-pandemic demand for streaming content, specifically sports.
Disney said it will increase the prices of ESPN+ by $1 to $6.99 starting Aug. 13, the second price increase this year. The annual plan will cost $10 more at $69.99, Disney said, raising the annual price by about $20 this year alone.
The fees for those getting a bundle of all of Disney's streaming services, including Hulu and Disney+, will remain unchanged, and there will be no changes to its UFC pay-per-view prices. That bundle costs $13.
Disney attributed the most recent price increase to increased value to consumers, specifically citing its live sports coverage. ESPN+ has about 14 million subscribers.
The price-hike follows Disney’s first successful post-pandemic, simultaneous in-theater and at-home streaming movie launch.
Disney and Marvel's "Black Widow," which opened simultaneously in theaters and on streaming service Disney+, made $80 million in its first weekend and $60 million on Disney+.
The movie, starring Scarlett Johansson, has so far beat the pandemic record of $70 million for Universal’s “F9.” It was originally scheduled to be released in September 2020 but was pushed back due to the pandemic.
In an updated research note to clients published on Monday, J.P. Morgan analyst Alexia Quadrani maintained a buy rating on Disney and a price target of $220, noting the stock price at current levels continues to present an attractive entry point for longer-term investors.
At last check, Disney shares were down 0.78% at $182.94.