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Subscriber base falls for ESPN

US sports broadcaster ESPN lost around two million subscribers in the 2018 financial year, according to new figures released by parent company Disney.

The Variety website, citing Disney’s newly released annual report, said ESPN’s total US subscriber base stood at around 86 million in September 2018, compared to the 88 million Disney stated in its 2017 report.

Disney launched OTT streaming platform ESPN Plus earlier this year as a means to diversify away from linear cable television. Its 2018 report stated that the service has gained more than one million subscribers to date.

Variety added that during Disney’s fourth-quarter financial results announcement earlier this month, executives noted that the rate of subscriber declines slowed between 2017 and 2018, to a fall of two per cent compared to three per cent between 2016 and 2017.