Monday, 24 September, 2018

What you need to know about ESPN's new $5/month ESPN+ streaming service

ESPN and its new president James Pitaro look for a win from a new sports streaming service ESPN President James Pitaro previewed ESPN+ last week at the ESPN Technology Center
Sherri Watson | 12 April, 2018, 22:28

Subscribers will get access to more than 10,000 live sporting events on ESPN+ that are not shown on TV. While you don't need to be an ESPN+ subscriber to get some benefit, however, it's clear that the new on-demand and live streaming is the centerpiece. However, it doesn't offer access to content on ESPN; this is a supplemental app, and won't include NFL or NBA games, but will include MLB and MLS.

Speaking to reporters at a briefing in ESPN's studio in Los Angeles, he said that the company expects the service to become profitable and that it's also going to provide valuable insight that Disney can use for the other online streaming services that it's planning. But it's still worth repeating, at least in part because regular people might reasonably assume that an ESPN streaming service will give you ESPN. 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 is also promising more than 100 days of coverage from 31 PGA Tour events, hundreds of tennis matches from tournaments like Wimbledon and the U.S. Open as well as hundreds of rugby and cricket matches. It may not be the sports streaming service you've been waiting for. However, you should note that its offering is not similar to the ESPN we are all familiar with.

Variety reported last week that the streaming sports service would be launching today, and that has now been confirmed. BYU locked in an extension with ESPN through 2019, for one, and the app will broadcast "football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, track and field, gymnastics, swimming and diving, lacrosse, wrestling, volleyball, golf and more" from 20 different conferences, according to the press release. You will be able to view ESPN documentaries, and an original National Basketball Association show called Detail that will be written and hosted by Kobe Bryant. That will include content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm, including exclusive content only offered through the new service.

In light of what ESPN+ is offering, the next obvious question becomes, what was Disney's intent when they chose to launch the service?

You can start a free 30-day trial now.