Disney’s new LATAM streaming service to offer live sports

Star+ platform to draw from ESPN’s regional rights portfolio.

by Tom Bassam

Disney’s new LATAM streaming service to offer live sports
  • ESPN has Latin America rights to the Copa Libertadores and Champions League
  • New platform also to draw on tennis portfolio which includes all four Grand Slams

Media giant Disney will launch a new standalone streaming service in Latin America under its Star+ international brand which will include ESPN’s regional portfolio of live sports content.

The new platform will go live in June 2021, priced at around US$7.50 a month (or the local equivalent) and can be bundled with the Disney+ entertainment service for US$9 a month.

ESPN has a broad rights portfolio in Latin America which includes several tier one soccer properties such as the Uefa Champions League, as well as the Copa Libtertadores and Copa Sudamericana South American club competitions. The new platform will also include ESPN’s live tennis offering, which comprises all four Grand Slams and most ATP events.

The Star brand will be used by Disney as its adult-focused direct-to-consumer (DTC) offering outside of the US. Star is already a well-established pay-TV name in the Indian subcontinent, alongside its Hotstar streaming platform. Star content will be integrated into Disney+ in most markets outside of Latin America.

“The tremendous success we’ve achieved across our unique portfolio of streaming services, with more than 137 million subscriptions worldwide, has bolstered our confidence in our acceleration toward a DTC-first business model,” said Disney chief executive Bob Chapek.

“With our amazing creative teams and our ever-growing collection of the high-quality branded entertainment that consumers want, we believe we are incredibly well positioned to achieve our long-term goals.”

Disney’s DTC services have exceeded 137 million global paid subscriptions, including 11.5 million for ESPN+ subscribers, 38.8 million Hulu subscribers, and an impressive 86.8 million Disney+ subscribers since its launch in November 2019.

Chapek now expects Disney’s streaming services to hit 300 to 350 million total subscriptions by fiscal 2024.