ESPN's Skipper: 'Cheap packages will hook millennials on pay-TV'

Cable's priciest channel is trying to cram itself to low-cost pay-TV packages to attract younger, more pay-TV-dissonant viewers.

Speaking at the Code/Media Series: New York conference Thursday (covered by event producer Re/code), ESPN president John Skipper said he believes packages like Dish's (NASDAQ: DISH) upcoming under-$30 OTT service will entice millennial-aged consumers to become lifelong pay-TV subscribers.

"We suspect they will trade up," Skipper said. "We want to figure out products to get those people to buy something."

The ESPN boss' comments were directly in line with those of Dish chairman Charlie Ergen, who told investors at his company's second quarter earnings call in August that he'd like to get millennials "started on ESPN," adding, "My concern is that we're missing a whole generation of customers."

Skipper also said that ESPN is considering offering select content for a la carte Internet streaming, such as Major League Soccer games. And he also addressed the issue of companies like Google rising up to take market share from ESPN and its parent company, Disney.

"Name all the technology companies that became great media companies," he said. "I'm not sure you're going to go to Google to watch the Rose Bowl."

For more:
- read this Re/code story

Related links:
Dish trademarks new name and logo, possibly for online video service: 'Nutv'
Ergen: Video is vital to wireless industry Dish is determined to join
U.S. pay-TV price increases are double the inflation rate, report says

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