MarketWatch First Take: What the ESPN streaming service will look like

The Walt Disney Co. will launch an independent ESPN streaming service in 2018, but viewers will still need a subscription to a cable bundle to access content airing on ESPN channels.

In effect, Disney DIS, +0.59% will build out the current WatchESPN streaming app to include access to other subscription streaming packages, and sell access to some content not airing on its ESPN networks on a subscription basis. Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger suggested Tuesday afternoon that viewers will be able to pay to stream specific games and potentially new packages that ESPN builds.

“Consumers who are pay-TV subscribers will also be able to access the ESPN television networks in the same app on an authenticated basis,” Iger said in a conference call.

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