Verizon CEO Touts Disney Streaming Bundle Offer

Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg
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Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg

"We don’t do that for every brand," Hans Vestberg told the virtual Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference, but who wouldn’t want to get ESPN+.

Verizon's decision to expand its deal to offer the Disney+ streaming service free to certain subscribers by offering Disney's bundle of streaming services came due to the strong Disney brand, CEO Hans Vestberg signaled on Tuesday.

"Our strategy in this area" of teaming with content brands has worked well in the case of Apple Music and Disney+, which had a "great start" when it launched late last year, he said during an appearance at the virtual Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference. "Now we do that on the next step together with the wider" offering that also includes ESPN+ and Hulu, the Verizon CEO said. "We don’t do that for every brand," but for Disney and other brands that "match" Verizon’s.

Asking who wouldn’t want to get ESPN+, he also quipped: "I would love to have it."

Verizon said last month that it was giving Disney's full streaming bundle, which includes subscriptions to Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, away to Verizon customers as part of certain unlimited data plans. The bundle, which normally retails for $12.99 per month, is included in the Play More Unlimited and Get More Unlimited plans that are part of Verizon's Mix & Match offering for families with four-or-more lines. Those plans cost $45 and $55 per month, respectively, and also come with Apple Music.

Management previously said that the Disney+ deal exceeded the firm's expectations, but it has never detailed how many of its customers were using it.

Vestberg has repeatedly said his team had no plans to acquire content businesses, but instead looking to partner with content companies that want to use Verizon’s platform.

The Verizon Media unit, which includes the likes of Yahoo, AOL and HuffPost, was also discussed on Tuesday. Its revenue for the second quarter had fallen 24.5 percent to $1.4 billion "primarily as a result of COVID-19 related impacts." Management recently said the unit had seen revenue trends improve a bit in June, forecasting a third-quarter revenue decline in the teen percentage range.

Vestberg on Tuesday reiterated that and said the company was expecting advertising to come back "slowly."

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