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ESPN is preparing for its “flagship” streaming future.

When Bob Chapek was still Disney’s CEO, he called the idea of a streaming ESPN channel (in full, not just ESPN Plus) “the ultimate fan offering that will appeal to the superfan who loves sports.” Chapek is gone, but the process of shifting ESPN from a cable channel that pockets nearly $10 from every subscriber is still underway, according to the Wall Street Journal:

Now, as consumers increasingly cut the cable-TV cord, the company is actively preparing for that shift under a project with the internal code name “Flagship,” the people said.

ESPN would continue to offer the TV channel after launching a streaming option

ESPN has begun securing flexibility in its deals with cable providers to offer the channel directly to consumers, the people said...The company is having similar discussions with pro sports leagues as those rights deals come up and has secured the same flexibility from at least two major leagues, the people said.