ESPN hopes it has found a solution to its problem of losing subscribers who are cutting cable out of their lives. Starting later this month, ESPN will offer a wide range of services, cord free.
In a kind of, “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” way, the sports media company will be offering its own standalone streaming service. It will be called “ESPN+,” and it will be available beginning on April 12.
It is a major step forward for ESPN, who has seen its amount of subscribers dwindle in recent years. The question is, will ESPN+ be enough to get people back on board with the Worldwide Leader in Sports?
What is ESPN+, exactly?
Essentially, for $4.99 a month, ESPN+ will be an expanded catalog of ESPN channels with four key pillars: thousands of live sports events, high-quality original shows and films, exclusive studio programs and a vast on-demand library. According to Kevin Mayer, chairman, direct-to-consumer and international for the Walt Disney Company, ESPN+ marks the beginning of a new era of innovation for all their businesses.
“One defined by an increasingly direct and personal relationship with consumers,” he said in a press release. “This new product reflects our direct-to-consumer strategy focused on combining our beloved brands with our proprietary, industry-leading technology to give users unparalleled access to our world-class content.”
That’s all buzz words and talk, though. Where ESPN believes it will succeed in attracting people is with an array of programming not readily available to the standard ESPN consumer. Among the extra goodies are more than 180 MLB and NHL games — with at least one per day every day — during their respective seasons, along with year-round boxing, more than 250 MLS games and thousands of college sporting events.
You will also find more than 100 days of coverage from 31 PGA Tour events, hundreds of tennis matches and even rugby and cricket. In addition to all that, fans can purchase the entire MLB.TV out-of-market package through ESPN+, though that costs an additional $24.99 per month.
It’s just the beginning
While ESPN+ is the first in the Disney Company’s attempts to offer streaming services straight to consumers, it will not be the last. There are plans for another one that will feature Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm movies — as well as other exclusive content — will launch late in 2019.
At the same time, the ESPN app will get an upgrade
ESPN+ will be getting the most headlines, which makes sense. It is new and, if ESPN is right, will be revolutionary for their network.
But along with the launch of ESPN+, ESPN’s app will be getting a makeover this month.
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