ESPN will launch a new subscription streaming service starting on April 12. Cord-cutters rejoice! The streaming service will be called ESPN+ and will offer “thousands of live sporting events,” studio shows, original content, and an “unmatched library of award-winning on-demand programming.” The package will broadcast live sports from the MLB, NHL, and MLS, plus coverage of rugby, cricket, tennis, and college sports. ESPN+ will cost $4.99-a-month and you won’t need a cable subscription to get the sports package.
ESPN calls the new service the “premier all-in-one digital sports platform for fans.” The new streaming service is part of the resigned ESPN App, but it is also accessible through ESPN.com. The Ringer breaks down the live sports that ESPN+ will broadcast:
- One MLB game every day during the baseball season
- One NHL game every day during the hockey season
- A “selection of exclusive main event” boxing fights, and more undercard fights
- Every out-of-market MLS game (subject to blackouts)
- College sports from these conferences: “America East, ASun, Big South, Big West, Horizon, Ivy League, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, Missouri Valley, NEC, Southern Conference, Southland, Summit League, Sun Belt, WAC, and many more”
- PGA Tour coverage including Thursday, Friday, and “some” Saturday and Sunday play
- Grand Slam tennis coverage that’s billed as a “complement” for tennis fans
- Rugby and cricket coverage
Noticeably missing is any NFL or NBA games. ESPN is hoping to get back some of the viewers that it lost due to cord-cutting. As of last September, ESPN has lost nearly 13 million subscribers in the last six years. ESPN+ sounds a lot like ESPN3. We’ll have to wait and see if a streaming service with random sports and programming that is not distinct or exclusive than the existing eight ESPN cable channels can woo customers to pay $5 per month.