Disney’s Bob Iger: Inevitable that ESPN Goes Direct-to-Consumer

I missed this earlier today, but it's a whoa:

Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Bob Iger said on CNBC Monday morning that “there’s an inevitability” to ESPN peeling itself away from the traditional pay TV bundle.

“I think eventually ESPN becomes a business that is sold directly to the consumers,” Mr. Iger said.

It's worth remembering that ESPN makes $6.61 per cable subscriber in carraige fees. That means that $6.61 of every cable bill goes to Bristol, Conn. JUST FOR ESPN (that doesn't include ESPN2, etc.). In a lot of ways, this would not just change cable TV and ESPN. It can, and probably will, create a fundamental change in the economy of sports as a whole.

HBO Now is getting $15 a month. Would you pay double that for ESPN, as the Journal indicates may be the rate?

And if the Disney CEO is saying this on TV, it's going to happen. He said it won't in the next five years. I bet it's sooner than that. You don't say this publicly if it's not happening.