ESPN to lay off 100 workers ahead of streaming service launch: Report
LONDON: ESPN will reportedly lay off over 100 employees, including producers, executives and digital and technology staffers, after the Thanksgiving holidays as it gears up to launch a new streaming service named "ESPN Plus" in early 2018, media reported.
"Many of those employees helped build the foundation of ESPN and had given their professional life to the company," Sports Illustrated magazine reported late on Thursday.
The layoffs are said to be a result of parent company Disney's missed revenues which is driven mostly by ESPN.
The company missed revenue and earnings estimates, causing shares to drop 4 per cent in after-hours trading on Thursday.
ESPN has laid off many employees in the past two years. It terminated the jobs of 300 employees in October 2015.
Meanwhile, the streaming service will be supported by advertisements, unlike its sister entertainment product that Disney plans to launch for movies and shows in 2019 to rival Netflix.
"From this limited information, it isn't clear if the paid direct-to-consumer offering will be offered to anyone willing to pay, or only people who are already authenticated to watch ESPN via their existing cable subscription," said a TechCrunch report.