Disney seeks new frontiers as more watch video online

Mae Anderson
Associated Press

Disney is seeking new frontiers.

The media company launched its $5-a-month sports streaming service, ESPN Plus, last month, and it signed a deal with Twitter this month to create Marvel, ABC and ESPN content on that service. Meanwhile, Disney is trying to buy much of 21st Century Fox, including the Fox television network and the X-Men movie franchise.

The moves come as Disney seeks ways to extend beyond the traditional cable-bundle format as more people watch TV online. Sports network ESPN was once a jewel in Disney’s crown, but subscriptions have been falling as people drop cable services.

But the company has found strength elsewhere, notably its movie studio and theme parks.

Disney’s franchises such as Marvel’s Avengers and “Star Wars” have been raking in money. “Avengers: Infinity War” has grossed over $1 billion since it opened April 27.

To prepare for the future, Disney launched a sports streaming service with video not available on the regular ESPN channels. This includes additional baseball and soccer games, and the entire “30 for 30” documentary series on demand.