By Harriett Masters

Disney is expanding its streaming business and is considering cutting loose its property most tied to linear television:


Puck said that Disney CEO Bob Chapek asked top aides to look into a possible ESPN spinoff. Multiple private equity firms have reportedly approached Disney about the possibility.

In a separate report, a person close to Disney who wished to remain anonymous called the reports inaccurate.

Because ESPN commands $10 per cable subscriber per month from cable networks, Disney loses money anytime someone drops their cable subscription for ESPN+ ($6.99 per month of $69.99 per year).

ESPN is contractually tied to long-term rights deals with linear providers. Disney CEO Bob Chapek mentioned “constraints” around current rights contracts in August when discussing the possibility of combining Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu.

Disney+ had 116 million subscribers as of July 3. ESPN+ had 14.9 million.

A split from the family-oriented Disney could allow ESPN to really load up on sports betting.

The company is reportedly looking to license its name to a sportsbook in a deal worth at least $3 billion but has not yet launched its own betting platform.