Walt Disney Co. is considering making Hulu available through Disney+ once the media giant gains full control of Hulu in 2024, and is looking into sports betting as a long-term opportunity at ESPN.
Those were among several long-suspected, newsy tidbits from Disney
Chief Executive Bob Chapek during a wide-ranging interview at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia & Technology conference in San Francisco late Wednesday.
But when asked whether ESPN+ could also be “hard bundled” as he suggested Hulu will be, Chapek downplayed the possibility without ruling it out entirely.
As Disney celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2023, flagship streaming service Disney+ will play a central role in the company’s direct-to-consumer plans, according to Chapek.
The company’s goal of reaching 135 million to 165 million Disney+ subscribers by the end of fiscal 2024 will be determined in great part by its ad-supported service that debuts Dec. 8 in the U.S.
Meanwhile, a membership service that includes streaming, parks and shopping would provide a “universal guest experience” combining the company’s physical and digital offerings, Chapek said. “What you watch on Disney+ could have an impact on your experience at the park,” he said.
When asked where Disney+ is currently most “under-penetrated,” Chapek said the biggest opportunity is in general entertainment
Additionally, Chapek touched on Disney’s success in India. “We’re hoping they [consumers] come for cricket but stay for Disney,” said Chapek, who called the Indian Premier League rights battle “frothy.”