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Iger Says ESPN+ Eclipses 2 Million Subscribers

“Last month ESPN claimed that 500,000 people signed up for new ESPN+ accounts ahead of the first UFC card to stream on the OTT service.”

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ESPN+ was mentioned in Disney’s fiscal first-quarter earnings report, which was released Tuesday. Disney says the service, which launched last year now supports 2 million subscribers.

Bob Iger says that MMA and boxing will be a key part of ESPN+’s future. “We expect the expansion of combat sports content on the streaming service to drive continued growth in the months ahead,” he told analysts on an earnings call.

Last month ESPN claimed that 500,000 people signed up for new ESPN+ accounts ahead of the first UFC card to stream on the OTT service. That coincides with a promotion that offered a free month trial of ESPN+.

Whatever the truth of those new accounts are, 2 million subscribers and 500,000 new subscriptions surrounding a single event are impressive. As media consultant Patrick Crakes tweeted, “Heck, in the whole SVOD product universe – to include mega giant Netflix – there’s not many with 2M+ paying subs.”

Disney has another product on the horizon which could be used to promote ESPN+ subscriptions. Disney+, a new streaming VOD service featuring films from the entire Disney library plus new, original content, will launch later this year. Iger said he hopes to be able to offer customers a discount if they sign up for a single account to access ESPN+, Disney+ and Hulu, which the company owns a controlling interest in.

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Dave Portnoy Reveals Back-And-Forth With New York Times Reporter Who Claimed He ‘Did Not Provide Answers’

“You waited till (sic) your hit piece was done and now you just need to say you gave me a fair chance to speak even though you have no interest in the truth and your article is already written”.

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A story from The New York Times centered around “aging casino company” — Penn National Gaming — and its relationship with “degenerate gambler” — Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy — caught the eye of the face of the online outlet after the claim that he “didn’t provide answers”.

In the story, Steel claims “Penn and Barstool executives did not respond to repeated messages. Mr. Portnoy did not provide answers.” Portnoy brought the receipts to Twitter with a video of all of the correspondence he had with Times writer Emily Steel.

The alleged conversation takes place sporadically from May through November, with Portnoy offering to meet face-to-face with Steel for an interview that is mutually audio and video recorded, which Steel declines. She offered to meet Portnoy in New York for an audio recorded interview, which he declined, saying the interview needed to take place in Miami, because “I’m not running around to accommodate you at the 11th hour.”

He added “You waited till (sic) your hit piece was done and now you just need to say you gave me a fair chance to speak even though you have no interest in the truth and your article is already written”.

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Sports Online

Kareem Daniel Leaving Disney After Bob Iger Reassumes Role as Company CEO

“This is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Bob Iger is back as the CEO of Disney, and one of the first moves he made was to announce a company restructure. Part of that restructure includes the departure of Kareem Daniel, the chair of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution (DMED).

DMED was formed under now-previous CEO Bob Chapek. The division manages Disney’s streaming services which includes ESPN+.

Daniel was considered one of those closest to Chapek. Iger announced Daniel’s departure in a memo to employees at DMED.

“It is my intention to restructure things in a way that honors and respects creativity as the heart and soul of who we are,” Iger said in the memo. “As you know, this is a time of enormous change and challenges in our industry, and our work will also focus on creating a more efficient and cost-effective structure.”

ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro will join other company leaders in coming up with a new company structure that Iger hopes “puts more decision-making back in the hands of our creative teams and rationalizes costs.”

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Pat McAfee Didn’t Know He Was Wrestling a Steer on College GameDay

“Showed up there, no clue, I thought I was watching their team practice, their team wasn’t practicing.”

Jordan Bondurant

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College GameDay was in Big Sky Country over the weekend, and co-host Pat McAfee had a pretty memorable trip.

During one of the segments on the show, McAfee ended up wrestling a steer in front of the Montana State rodeo team.

On The Pat McAfee Show on Monday, Pat said he learned what he was going to be doing, including the technique to bring the 500-pound animal to the ground, right when he got there.

“I had no idea I was doing this 45 minutes ago – no clue,” McAfee said. “Showed up there, no clue, I thought I was watching their team practice, their team wasn’t practicing. They just put that together for me.”

Pat, who often says with his rise to fame as a media personality that he has the “Dumbest life,” said right before the steer was released he had a moment.

“At that moment, I’m going eye to eye with this steer – why am I doing this? Actually, why am I doing it?” he said.

McAfee, who does his show from his studio in Indianapolis, added that even when he arrived in Montana for production meetings on Friday that he didn’t know he would be meeting up with the rodeo team for a segment. He said the Montana State rodeo team’s facility was probably a 40-minute drive from the GameDay set.

“I had no idea I was going out there either,” he said. “Drive out there, I’m like ‘Holy f–k what am I doing?'”

Still, Pat expressed his gratitude for the hospitality he was shown and that he got a small taste of the rodeo and ranching life.

“I have the utmost respect for those cowboys out there,” he said. “Legit.”

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