New ESPN Service Tries to Catch Streaming Wave


We've been saying this for a long time; more recently, executives from ESPN and its owners at Disney have been saying it as well.

For $5 per month or $50 per year, sports fans can access thousands of live games on ESPN+, though it's not exactly must-see content or the biggest matchups.

ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro confirmed to CNBC that ESPN+ is rolling out today at a price of $4.99/month or $49.99/year.

All of the ESPN+ content is integrated into a newly redesigned ESPN app, which you can download for your phone or streaming device.

ESPN+, part of ESPN's redesigned app that also launched today, will get you one Major League Baseball and one NHL game per day, out-of-market MLS games, along with live action from various other niche sports like boxing, tennis, rugby, cricket, and others. These are all pretty self explanatory, but the Watch section is where you'll find access to ESPN's channels as well as ESPN+. The service will also let users stream the library of ESPN films like its "30 for 30" documentaries.

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So. What does ESPN+ give you? That means that if you're, say, a Yankees fan living in NY, you won't be able to watch your team on ESPN+ due to the blackouts.

The new service shouldn't have any impact on BYU or local sports, according to the Deseret News. The service will have more than 180 MLB and NHL games during the season, including one per day based on the league's schedule. It's courting the superfans, people who watch niche sports like cricket and rugby, and fans of mid-major college teams, including those that play in the Ivy League and Missouri Valley Conference.

The number of video streaming services that are available to choose from is pretty staggering these days, and now another one's joining the ranks in the form of ESPN+. Those are reserved for subscribers of pay TV packages, who can stream the live TV lineup through the ESPN app.

Bryant will debut his new National Basketball Association analysis show "Detail: From the Mind of Kobe Bryant" when ESPN+ officially goes online Thursday.

The Disney-owned ESPN knows this. Last summer, the company ended a deal to distribute its movies on Netflix and announced it will be creating a separate streaming service with exclusive rights for Disney animated and live-action movies, including Star Wars content.