Disney CEO says selling ESPN a la carte is on the table

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Disney CEO: ESPN Direct-to-Consumer Possibility

Disney CEO Bob Iger says Disney needs to improve on the digital front, and that selling ESPN direct-to-consumer is on table.

Speaking at the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference on Tuesday, Iger said that "rights" were not the issue with selling ESPN directly, but mentioned that price was a sticking point, according to the Orange County Register.

Iger also acknowledged that ESPN's digital experience needed to get better.

As of December, ESPN had lost about 7 million subscribers in the previous two years. That meansESPN left an estimated $1.3 billion in subscriber revenue on the table in 2015, compared with what it would have made with steady cable company growth.

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Disney CEO Bob Iger in 2015
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Disney CEO says selling ESPN a la carte is on the table
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 06: Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger speaks onstage during 'North Meets SouthÂBridging Silicon Valley and Hollywood' at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on October 6, 2015 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 07: LACMA Trustee Willow Bay (L) and the Walt Disney Company chairman and chief executive officer Bob Iger attend the LACMA Art + Film Gala honoring Alejandro G. Iñárritu and James Turrell and presented by Gucci at LACMA on November 7, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 12: Television host Kelly Ripa and Bob Iger pose with her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on October 12, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 06: (L-R) Willow Bay, Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger and filmmaker George Lucas attend the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on October 6, 2015 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)
Robert 'Bob' Iger, chairman and chief executive officer of Walt Disney Co., left, and his wife Willow Bay, arrive at a state dinner in honor of Chinese President Xi Jinping at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Sept. 25, 2015. The U.S. and China announced agreement on broad anti-hacking principles aimed at stopping the theft of corporate trade secrets though President Barack Obama pointedly said he has not ruled out invoking sanctions for violators. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 15: The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger took part today in 'Worlds, Galaxies, and Universes: Live Action at The Walt Disney Studios' presentation at Disney's D23 EXPO 2015 in Anaheim, Calif. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)
ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 15: (L-R) The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger and actor Harrison Ford and director J.J. Abrams of STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS took part today in 'Worlds, Galaxies, and Universes: Live Action at The Walt Disney Studios' presentation at Disney's D23 EXPO 2015 in Anaheim, Calif. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)
Walt Disney Company chairman and CEO Bob Iger speaks about the new Shanghai Disney Resort during a press event in Shanghai on July 15, 2015. US entertainment giant Disney gave the first detailed preview to the media for its planned theme park in Shanghai, promising Chinese features and new attractions unlike its five other resorts, executives said. AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)
Robert 'Bob' Iger, chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Co., speaks during the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., on Monday, April 27, 2015. The conference brings together hundreds of chief executive officers, senior government officials and leading figures in the global capital markets for discussions on social, political and economic challenges. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 01: (L-R) Chairman and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company Bob Iger, actress Lily James and Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, Alan Horn attend the premiere of Disney's 'Cinderella' at the El Capitan Theatre on March 1, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 22: Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company Bob Iger (R) and TV personality Willow Bay attend the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - May 2: Actor Billy Crystal and Disney CEO Bob Iger attend Game Seven of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2015 NBA Playoffs on May 2, 2015 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Last month, ESPN president John Skipper admitted his company had been hurt by people ditching cable, and that it was in talks to expand its presence in online streaming services.

SEE ALSO: NBC's plan for the 'post-TV' future looks nothing like Netflix

Skipper said ESPN was looking to expand to more "online bundles," but did not mention a direct-to-consumer option. At the time, he spoke about talks with Amazon and Dish, which already carries a version of ESPN on Sling TV. Sling TV gives cord cutters a skinny bundle of channels including ESPN for $20 a month.

But Iger's comments suggest Disney and ESPN are looking beyond online bundles like Sling, and toward an a la carte option.

Iger also said that while ESPN will not grow as fast as it historically has, he expects it to be an engine of operating income growth in the future, Broadcasting & Cable reports.

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