Skipper: ESPN mulling other skinny streaming bundles beyond Sling TV

ESPN is talking to Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) and other companies about launching subscription streaming services that would include the Disney network's channels.

ESPN has recently voiced enthusiasm over its year-long inclusion on Dish's Sling TV skinny streaming bundle. Speaking at the Code/Media conference in Dana Point, Calif., Wednesday, ESPN President John Skipper said the network was in discussions with Dish and others about creating other multi-stream products.

"I think other people will enter into some markets with lighter packages in this calendar year," he added. 

According to Variety, which was on hand at Wednesday's event, the Dish discussions could center around a premium edition to Sling, allowing users to access more than one stream at a time. 

Skipper, meanwhile, continued to dismiss speculation that ESPN will launch a standalone streaming platform, similar to HBO Now or CBS All Access.

"We can sell ESPN as a standalone prodcut, but we do not believe it right now to be good business," Skipper said. "We have no intention of changing that proposition. That is excellent business for us," he said.

ESPN is the highest revenue-earning channel in the pay-TV universe. However, it has suffered lately under the weight of enormous content licensing costs, as well as declines in its subscriber base. 

"There have been some losses due to cord cutting," Skipper said. 

For more:
- read this Re/code story
- read this story from The Verge
read this Variety story

Related articles:
ESPN is still the most 'valuable' channel to pay-TV operators, survey finds
Iger: ESPN subscriber losses have 'abated,' but sports costs weigh Disney down
Talk of ESPN's demise full of 'hyperbolic drivel,' analyst says

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