ESPN has announced that its subscription-based video streaming service will launch later this month.
The service, called ESPN+, will go live on April 12 with hundreds of games and matches from various sporting events. ESPN plans on placing hundreds of MLB, NHL, and MLS games there in addition to Top Rank Boxing, PGA Tour, and Grand Slam Tennis events. There’s more content on the way, but the Worldwide Leader in Sports is emphasizing what will be immediately available.
It won’t be difficult to find ways to watch ESPN+. The service will be available through a “completely redesigned and reimagined ESPN App.” With that said, expect to see ESPN+ on the web and various home entertainment platforms like Roku and Amazon’s Fire TV as well.
Many of the properties ESPN holds television rights to will make their way to the new service. ESPN airs multiple baseball games throughout the week, and ESPN+ will actually feature one every day of the week. Starting with the 2018-2019 season, the NHL will do the same for ESPN+. And MLS, the nation’s professional soccer league, will put the entire out-of-market schedule in ESPN’s hands.
For college sports, the mid-major conferences are all-in on ESPN+. You won’t find the SEC or Big Ten on the service, but you’re getting plenty of action from the MAC and Sun Belt.
Tennis fans, meanwhile, can gain access to the French Open, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open through ESPN’s service.
Bigger properties like the NFL and NBA, though, aren’t joining ESPN+. ESPN has to make separate deals specifically for video streaming exclusively on connected devices.
Although it’s the most expensive cable channel around, ESPN doesn’t plan on charging a lot of money for its new service. ESPN+ is just $4.99 per month, and that does include both live and on-demand programming. ESPN will also produce original content surrounding all sports to supplement the service and drive value.
ESPN did reveal something about Disney’s upcoming video streaming service, too. The direct-to-consumer portal for all Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm movies and some original content will launch in late 2019.