Disney is giving sports fans a hefty price increase if they want to keep watching ESPN+.
Disney plans to up the streaming service’s cost to $9.99 per month, with amounts to $99.99 per year, starting Aug. 23, according to Fox Business.
Although the rate hike comes at a time of inflation, inflation is currently at about 9.1 percent, and that is far below the 43 percent hike ESPN+ customers will be facing.
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) July 15, 2022
ESPN+ as a standalone service is currently billed at $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year. Notifications will go out to subscribers this week.
In its reporting, Variety made the motive clear by writing, “Disney Strives for Streaming Profits.”
The increase was criticized by many.
Already a moral dilemma paying the current price for ESPN+ and their woke crap but now they’re planning to increase the price by 43%.Go woke go broke.
— Jeff Lasley (@jeffrlasley) July 16, 2022
Whoever determines the pricing over at ESPN are morons. They increase the prices, sales drop, and their response is to increase prices to cover losses 🤣 https://t.co/dPm9vTtuML
— AVATAR MMA 💨 (@AvatarMMA) July 15, 2022
And, as a Brookings Institution study on inflation noted: Low- and middle-income households tend to be more vulnerable to high inflation than wealthier households.
However, as Jay Peters and Richard Lawler noted on The Verge, “access isn’t as cheap as it once seemed.”
“ESPN Plus already raised its price (twice) last year, and now there’s an even steeper increase. ESPN points out that content deals it signs increasingly include ESPN Plus components along with the access to editorial content on its website that subscribers get,” they wrote.
In the judgment of Bloomberg’s Gerry Smith: “Disney is taking a risk with the timing of its price hike as the highest U.S. inflation in four decades is already squeezing household budgets, souring people’s view of the economy and forcing some to scale back entertainment and other discretionary spending.”
“At the same time, media companies are under increasing pressure to turn a profit with their streaming ventures,” Smith noted.
ESPN and its parent company Disney have also long been known for their advocacy of transgender athletes, but looking at some numbers shows the increase may not have as much of a positive effect.
“ESPN believes in inclusivity and denounces legislation and actions across the United States that infringe on any human rights. We stand with our LGBTQIA+ colleagues, friends, families, and fans,” the company tweeted earlier this year.
However, according to a recent study, LGBT Americans live in poverty at a 22 percent rate, far higher than the 16 percent rate of Americans who are not LGBT.
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