The ESPN+ streaming service, which will feature live sports events, on-demand content, original films and shows and studio programming, will launch on April 12.
ESPN+ is a product of ESPN, Disney Direct-to-Consumer and BAMTECH Media. The monthly subscription fee will be $4.99. The linchpin will be the live events.
ESPN+ will offer ESPN-branded content and hundreds of games from MLB, NHL, MLS, colleges, Top Rank Boxing, the PGA tour, Grand Slam Tennis and other sources.
ESPN+ Streaming Service
The service will be part of a redesigned and “reimagined” ESPN App. “ESPN was built on a belief in innovation and the powerful connection between sports and a remarkable array of fans,” said James Pitaro, ESPN President and Co-Chair of Disney Media Networks. “That same belief is at the heart of ESPN+ and the new ESPN App. With ESPN+, fans have access to thousands more live games, world class original programs and on-demand sports content, all at a great price. They will get all of that as a part of a completely re-imagined, increasingly personalized ESPN App that provides easy, one-stop access to everything ESPN offers.”
ESPN+ is the debut offering from Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International. International is a multiplatform media, technology and distribution organization created by Disney’s Media Networks and Studio Entertainment groups. Late next year, a direct-to-consumer service offering Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm movies and exclusive content will launch. Both will be driven by BAMTECH, which also is a unit of Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International.
The ground was laid for this announcement last August, when Disney executives said that streaming services from Disney and ESPN would be created. The executives said that by early this year an ESPN OTT streaming service leveraging the ESPN app would be launched. The idea was to not use the flagship ESPN channel as the content for the app-carried service. The tricky part will be serving both the legacy and new markets adequately.