Just over a week after first announcing the name and launch date of its new streaming service, ESPN today launched ESPN+, marking the first direct-to-consumer platform to debut from Disney. ESPN+ is available on ESPN.com and within a redesigned ESPN app for iOS and tvOS devices. For users of Apple's TV app, ESPN+ content is supported in the TV app on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.

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The new app continues to offer free content, including sports scores, news, analysis clips, video highlights, and select live and on-demand sports audio content. "TV Everywhere" access is also still available for subscribers of pay-TV companies. Alongside these features is an area for ESPN+, which includes thousands of live sporting events, original tv shows and films, and more.

ESPN says that the app's new design offers an "easy-to-use" interface with enhanced focus on personalization and discoverability. ESPN's content is curated by each user's favorite teams, sports, and leagues, sectioned into five primary navigation menus on iOS: Home, Scores, Watch, Listen, and Sports. ESPN+ is housed in the Watch tab, providing subscribers an "all-in-one digital sports platform," according to the company.

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ESPN+ is available only in the United States and costs subscribers $4.99/month (or $49.99/year), and a launch week promotion allows users to try the service for free for 30 days. ESPN+ subscribers will have access to HD streaming at 60 fps; live pause, rewind, and restart; limited advertising; and a sports marketplace to purchase additional premium streaming services like MLB.TV and NHL.TV.

The company says that there are four "key pillars" of ESPN+: live sports, original shows and films ("Draft Academy"), studio programs (Kobe Bryant's "Detail"), and an on-demand library of content. Although the service includes "thousands of games and events" from professional leagues, it does not include live NFL or NBA games. Here's a list of what is available on ESPN+ to watch live (which could change depending on local market blackouts):

MLB – A daily game, seven days per week, throughout the regular season, a total of more than 180 games that will include every MLB team.
NHL – Beginning with the 2018-19 season, a daily game throughout the regular season, a total of more than 180 hockey games.
MLS – the entire MLS LIVE out-of-market schedule with more than 250 games this season, as well as the local-market home for the Chicago Fire, exclusively bringing 23 Fire matches to fans in Chicago.
College Sports – Football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, track & field, gymnastics, swimming & diving, lacrosse, wrestling, volleyball, golf and more.
Top Rank Boxing – Hundreds of live boxing matches, including 18 ESPN+ exclusive Top Rank fight cards throughout the year, all Top Rank on ESPN undercard fights, re-airs of all Top Rank on ESPN and Top Rank on ESPN PPV bouts, plus weigh-ins and more.
PGA Tour Golf – 50 days of coverage from 20 PGA tour events, including the RBC Heritage, THE PLAYERS Championship, the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, the FedExCup Playoffs and more.
Grand Slam Tennis – Hundreds of men’s and women’s singles, doubles and other matches, from the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.
Cricket – Hundreds of Test, ODI and T20 format matches from New Zealand Cricket and Cricket Ireland.
Rugby – Hundreds of matches from SANZAAR Rugby, the HSBC World Rugby Sevens series, and Major League Rugby.
Canadian Football League – Nearly 200 games from Canada’s professional league.
English Football League – Approximately 200 total matches.
UEFA Nations League – Over 100 live matches from the newly created tournament.
United Soccer League – Approximately 450 USL matches this season.

ESPN+ is available beginning today in the new ESPN app on iOS [Direct Link] and tvOS. The service is also launching on Fire TV devices, Fire Tablets, Android phones, Android TV, and Chromecast. Disney's next streaming service won't launch until late 2019, and will include Disney's own movies as well as Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm content.

Tag: ESPN

Top Rated Comments

phillyman Avatar
58 months ago
looks like this is what you used to get for free with ESPN3 ... At least in terms of tennis. Too bad, ESPN3 was a HUGE value for sports fans that most people didn't even know they had.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AppleMad98004 Avatar
58 months ago
Life is getting better for cable cutters. If NBC Sports would do the same, I would be done. My lineup would be:

Netflix - $10.99
Prime - $8.40 (when you buy 12 months annually)
ESPN - $4.17 (when you buy 12 months annually)
NBS Sports - $4.17 (If they follow ESPN's lead)

Total - $27.73 for 95% of all the sports I would want to watch, free shipping on Amazon, and more movies and shows than I can possibly watch.

Please let this happen... lol
You forgot to add potentially two costs. Your monthly mobile bill and any home internet access cost. (cable/fiber etc)

I pay about $100/month.... 200 channels and 200 mb/sec internet. Cutting cable, buying only internet and the above I'd be right back where I am now. The content companies don't care how you get the channels only that their total revenue increases year to year.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Joe h Avatar
58 months ago
So basically I’m paying an extra $5 to get the content that was exclusive to watch espn, plus I still need a cable/satellite subscription in order to watch actual espn programming. Why would anyone celebrate this?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
xyberviri Avatar
58 months ago
I created an account just to comment this:

Sport networks are part of the reason why cable is so expensive.

Back in 2011 i worked as IT for a call center that was outsourced by comcast for inbound support. I managed to sneak a peak at the actual cost per channel sheet. In most cases the cost of the whole package is at least 50% of the sports networks in the bundle, Limited/Basic was usually around 50.00/month and 28 of that was ESPN 1/2 & FSN.

Your top Tier 100.00ish/month-everything except premium package, 50.00 of that was all sports networks costs depending on your market. (ESPN, FSN, NHL/MLB/NBA/SEC/NFL Network/Golf channel)

If you lived in a city where sports are major events or in a city that is home to a team you paid more because you were most likely to not complain about the prices.

Before i cut my cable, there was around 31 sports channels out of my package of 255 channels. Meaning 12% of the channels i have make up 50% of the cost of my subscription. Were not even doing the math on channels i don't watch + channels i will never watch.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OutGolfn Avatar
58 months ago
I think everyone needs to remember this is just the beginning of this Direct to Consumer product. They are protecting the cash cow cable pipes, but at the same time will slowly start building this with more and more content. They are playing both sides of the table!

ESPN 3 is still providing vast content and the ESPN+ is new additional content. See schedule of all ESPN and you can toggle between ESPN+ and ESPN3 to see the difference:
http://www.espn.com/watch/schedule?type=upcoming&channel=espnplus

Also this gets rid of the ads on their website, pre-roll videos/highlights, and throughout the new ESPN iphone/ipad app. For $4.17/month paid annually I think this is a great options for sports fans!

This shouldn't be seen as a replacement but more as an enhancement for Sports Fans! Over time they will provide more and more programming to drive Direct to Consumer ESPN+ sales as the legacy cable cash cow slows... Disney has been slow to the streaming party, but content is king and with the upcoming Fox Sports regional networks buyout they will truly be the place to go for almost all sports 5-10 years from now. Disney has the money and content to make it happen it will just take time.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Return Zero Avatar
58 months ago
Looking at their announcement page, I didn't see the "Blackouts Apply" asterisk by college sports like it is by MLB/NHL/MLS. If this means I can watch games that are live on ESPN, 2, or SEC network, I will absolutely be buying this. If it's only games that are not on the primary networks, no way in hell is this worth it to me.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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