Why ESPN Is Reimagining Its App With A $4.99 ESPN+ Streaming Service

"You'll see a blend of investment going forward that will be somewhat similar to the way we've been investing before", he said, pointing to the company's track record of investing in organic growth.

"The scores and highlights will be improved with better audio, better video quality, better user interface, as well as basically more customization and personalization", Iger told CNBC.

The new ESPN streaming service will include access to thousands of hours of MLB, MLS, and NHL-which ESPN does not air on TV-as well as some college sports, tennis, boxing, golf, rugby, and cricket. However, ESPN's viewership grew 13% y-o-y in the evening time period across both TV and streaming in this quarter.

Iger and CFO Christine McCarthy were asked about Hulu's outlook given Disney's ambitions for its own streaming service. All of this extra live action will be events that won't appear on ESPN's linear networks. "If anything points to the future that ESPN looks like, it will be this app and the experience it provides", he said.

ESPN Plus is expected to be available to mobile subscribers via Apple's iOS, Apple TV, Google's Android, and Chromecast. The catch is that those opting for that route will have to be an ESPN subscriber by "traditional or non-traditional" methods. "People that were once called or thought to be cord-nevers are starting to adopt less expensive over-the-top packages", Iger said in an interview with Closing Bell.

More news: Ronald Koeman appointed as Holland coach replacing Dick Advocaat

Cable network operating income was down 1% to $858 million as revenue rose 1% to $4.49 billion. Broadcasting revenues for the quarter decreased 3 percent to $1.8 billion and operating income decreased 25 percent to $285 million.

Disney's studio revenue was $2.5 billion, missing the consensus estimate of $2.75 billion.

The strength of its parks offset weakness at ESPN, its Hollywood studio, its consumer-products unit and its broadcast network - each of which saw profits decline.

In the fiscal first quarter, ESPN's ad revenue fell 11 percent, contributing to weakness in the company's media networks division, which logged a 12 percent decline in operating income on flat sales of $6.24 billion. With an industry-leading average carriage fee of $7.86 per sub per month, ESPN in 2017 booked an estimated $8.2 billion in affiliate revenue, and that's before the contributions of spinoff nets like ESPN2 and ESPNU are tossed into the mix. "The demand for those brands, we believe, will give us the ability to spend less on volumes", said Iger, on a conference call on February 6.

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