April 26, 2018

Is the sports-streaming cord cutters have been waiting for

12 April 2018, 10:28 | Brandon Parsons

ESPN+ launches Disney's $4.99 sports streaming service

New ESPN Service Tries to Catch Streaming Wave

We've been saying this for a long time; more recently, executives from ESPN and its owners at Disney have been saying it as well.

The new subscription service will cost $4.99 and offer MLB, NHL and numerous other sports that don't normally appear on ESPN, according to an ESPN press release.

ESPN+ is available on iOS, Android, Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, and online.

ESPN is now offering a free first month for new subscribers (until April 19th), with a cost of $4.99 per month month afterward, or $49.99 annually.

Engadget is calling ESPN+ "the sports-streaming cord cutters have been waiting for", asserting that it gives fans "tremendous value". The programming of the existing eight ESPN networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPNews, ESPN Deportes, the Longhorn Network, and the SEC Network) will be integrated together with ESPN+ into one experience on the same app. Customers with a paid subscription authentication will still be able to watch all the programming they get today from ESPN regardless if they subscribe to the new service or not.

IAG to consider Norwegian Air acquisition
Shares in IAG initially dropped 3.4 percent on the news before recovering to trade down 0.7 percent at 611 pence. Norwegian Air has expanded rapidly over the last 12 months, ordering new aircraft to serve a raft of new routes.

It has a few exclusives, too, including some episodes of the lauded ESPN documentary series "30 for 30" - plus that show's entire back catalog.

ESPN+ is designed for fanatics who want more sports programing, and for people who can not find their favorite teams or sports on TV, Disney executives said. Beyond that the appeal is going to be niche sports: minor league baseball, a smattering of college sports, and European soccer leagues you've never heard of.

"It is an opportunity for us to serve sports fans in new ways, and in ways no one else can", ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro said.

Sports Marketplace - the ability to also subscribe to additional premium streaming services like MLB.TV (and NHL.TV, beginning in 2018-19) all within the ESPN app environment. The latter includes fans of cricket, rugby, Canadian football or Ivy League sports. ESPN+ says you'll still see the adverts in the regular breaks punctuating live sports content, for example.

Regardless, it's a big deal for Disney and ESPN. If you sign up before April 18, your free trial will last 30 days as part of a promotion.

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