ESPN to launch $4.99/month streaming service this spring, live TV requires ESPN subscripti...

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Disney CEO Bob Iger on Tuesday officially announced plans to debut a long-rumored ESPN streaming service, saying the sports-centric offering will launch this spring as part of a redesigned ESPN app.




Called ESPN Plus, the service will allow users to stream ESPN content on mobile platforms including iOS and Android, as well as set-top streaming devices like ChromeCast, reports Variety. Beyond ChromeCast, support for other set-top streaming platforms, like Apple TV, was not mentioned.

Priced at $4.99 per month, ESPN Plus is set to debut this spring alongside a revamped version of ESPN's app, suggesting the company is targeting mobile users before moving on to at-home streamers.

The service provides access to a "highly personalized" set of sports news, score and highlights delivered to users based on where they live, what teams they like and other metrics. Subscribers can also browse ESPN's catalog of documentaries, special shows and live events broadcast on other networks, the report said.

Users who are ESPN subscribers through "traditional or non-traditional" methods can also stream live TV from network's stable of channels.

"This will enable people to access ESPN just about any way imaginable," Iger said during Disney's earnings conference call for the first quarter of 2018. "If anything points to what the future of ESPN looks like, it will be this."

Amid a sea of content, streaming providers have increasingly turned to specialized curation algorithms in a bid to deliver customized user experiences. Apple Music, for example, leans on its curation technologies to goose track and artist discoverability.

News that ESPN was working on a streaming service arrived last August when Disney acquired BAMTech for $1 billion. A spinoff from Major League Baseball's Advanced Media division, the video streaming specialist is an established provider of direct-to-consumer products and is expected play a key role in developing streaming offerings for other Disney properties in the future.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    Sounds like ESPN trying to recoup money off of content they paid for that most don’t really care to see. I’ll pass on this. If it’s not good enough to be on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SEC Network, or WatchESPN then why would I pay $5 a month for it? 
    macseekerBubbaTwo
  • Reply 2 of 22
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,364member
    Now if only ESPN had anything worth watching...
    bluefire1airnerd
  • Reply 3 of 22
    kent909kent909 Posts: 691member
    No thanks
  • Reply 4 of 22
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,833member
    No fcking thank you. Don’t really watch ESPN anymore! 
    mwhite
  • Reply 5 of 22
    Maybe it’ll hit, maybe it’ll flop, but at least Bob Iger keeps pushing.
    stanthemanmike1jahbladelolliver
  • Reply 6 of 22
    Probably available only in the US anyway. AppleInsider has lots of articles that are applicable only to US customers, but the articles aren't flagged as such. I would recommend a literal FLAG on the top of each article to indicate which country(s) the article applies to. This would really help the readers of AppleInsider, that is, if AppleInsider wants to help its readers.
    lolliver
  • Reply 7 of 22
    I can get content and articles for free elsewhere, but from ESPN I can pay $60 a year for it?

    Wow.  Where do I sign up?

    Disney is supposedly a well run company, but .........

    ............sorry I can’t figure out how to end this sentence without using @#$&.
    BubbaTwo
  • Reply 8 of 22
    ESPN has become too political for my taste. I want sports, and only sports--not the occasional political proselytizing.
    edited February 7 airnerdBubbaTwo
  • Reply 9 of 22
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 514member
    Sweet, finally doing what I asked for 5 years ago.  I was wishing ESPN and Fox Sports would allow me to stream their channels for $5 each since I don't care for (or watch) the other 189+.

    But then PS Vue got to D/FW first and I got hooked on that, or more importantly my wife and son got hooked on the other channels, and ESPN can suck it now.  No need to pay $5 for their slew of channels when I only want to watch a couple of games a year on it, not when I can pay a little more and get a lot more.  Sorry ESPN, should have spent more time on your App and delivery platforms and less time "ro-BUSTing" your forums.  
  • Reply 10 of 22
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 514member
    bluefire1 said:
    ESPN has become too political for my taste. I want sports, and only sports--not the occasional political proselytizing.
    Agree.  I used to watch Sportscenter religiously but then they got to the point where they A) politicized everything, B) try forcing catch phrases too much, and C) realized everyone started to just care about the top 10 plays so they began splitting them up with 10-6 at the :15's and then the 5-1 at the end of the show.  Screw that, don't care enough.
  • Reply 11 of 22
    mrboba1mrboba1 Posts: 264member
    Too political, lol. A handy strawman, but this started happening long before politics became a convenient excuse. The actual reason people stopped watching ESPN is because over time, their programming became irrelevant.

    10 years ago, I would work from home and reroll SC all morning to catch things from the day before. Don't tell me you didn't ;-)
    We would all watch the highlights. No one needs that now. The highlights are online 10 minutes after they happen. (Giannis dunk, anyone?)

    Their blathering shows that started with "Cold Pizza" (remember that name?) that morphed into the First Take mess - which stays on the air only because their takes make it to social media and stirs up interest. There is virtually no one watching live TV at that point in the day, so the share is high with very few eyeballs.

    In the past, the only real reasons to watch ESPN was SC(highlights) and live games and maybe some pregame shows. The rest has always been silly filler. Highlight shows are dead, filler isn't worth paying for, and live games aren't included.

    Sounds like a winner. /sarcasm
    edited February 7 jahblade
  • Reply 12 of 22
    mrboba1 said:
    Too political, lol. A handy strawman, but this started happening long before politics became a convenient excuse. The actual reason people stopped watching ESPN is because over time, their programming became irrelevant.

    10 years ago, I would work from home and reroll SC all morning to catch things from the day before. Don't tell me you didn't ;-)
    We would all watch the highlights. No one needs that now. The highlights are online 10 minutes after they happen. (Giannis dunk, anyone?)

    Their blathering shows that started with "Cold Pizza" (remember that name?) that morphed into the First Take mess - which stays on the air only because their takes make it to social media and stirs up interest. There is virtually no one watching live TV at that point in the day, so the share is high with very few eyeballs.

    In the past, the only real reasons to watch ESPN was SC(highlights) and live games and maybe some pregame shows. The rest has always been silly filler. Highlight shows are dead, filler isn't worth paying for, and live games aren't included.

    Sounds like a winner. /sarcasm
    I don’t think you understand what a straw man argument is. ESPN has definitely become too political, and mix that with instant gratification from being able to lookup highlights on YouTube and you have a failing business model. 
  • Reply 13 of 22
    macxpress said:
    Now if only ESPN had anything worth watching...
    Please enlighten us on what you'd recommend they broadcast that would make you watch. Interested to hear. 
    johnfrombeyond
  • Reply 14 of 22
    kent909 said:
    No thanks
    Do you feel better about yourself after posting that meaningful, in-depth comment? 
    johnfrombeyond
  • Reply 15 of 22
    If I understand this correctly, the $5.00 per month does not include the ability to stream ESPN Channels LIVE?  Then why in the heck would anyone want to pay for this?
  • Reply 16 of 22
    mrboba1mrboba1 Posts: 264member
    mrboba1 said:
    Too political, lol. A handy strawman, but this started happening long before politics became a convenient excuse. The actual reason people stopped watching ESPN is because over time, their programming became irrelevant.

    10 years ago, I would work from home and reroll SC all morning to catch things from the day before. Don't tell me you didn't ;-)
    We would all watch the highlights. No one needs that now. The highlights are online 10 minutes after they happen. (Giannis dunk, anyone?)

    Their blathering shows that started with "Cold Pizza" (remember that name?) that morphed into the First Take mess - which stays on the air only because their takes make it to social media and stirs up interest. There is virtually no one watching live TV at that point in the day, so the share is high with very few eyeballs.

    In the past, the only real reasons to watch ESPN was SC(highlights) and live games and maybe some pregame shows. The rest has always been silly filler. Highlight shows are dead, filler isn't worth paying for, and live games aren't included.

    Sounds like a winner. /sarcasm
    I don’t think you understand what a straw man argument is. ESPN has definitely become too political, and mix that with instant gratification from being able to lookup highlights on YouTube and you have a failing business model. 

    ESPN has had these programming and delivery issues for quite some time, and that is what is really driving their actual losses.
    I, like many people, only watched SC and games. Now I only watch games, and not nearly as often as I used to.

    Getting "too political" is just your opinion, as they have always reported on political aspects in sports, and yes, had opinions. This may drive you away, but it is nothing new, except that a groupthink has arisen specifically stating they are too political. (EDIT: In fact, most people saying they are too political have never even actually watched the show. They just heard they were via social media.) Believe it or not, people can ignore these things, or they can even be attracted by it. It is possible, and even likely, that they see that raising political issues actually stems the tide of falling viewership. They know the numbers better than you or me.

    Here - this guy goes into much more detail about what's going on:
    http://www.eugenewei.com/blog/2018/1/9/outdated-playbooks-from-the-age-of-scarcity

    ESPN shows up pretty far down in the post
    edited February 7
  • Reply 17 of 22
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 1,998member
    mac-daddy said:
    kent909 said:
    No thanks
    Do you feel better about yourself after posting that meaningful, in-depth comment? 
    Calm down, Francis. He was expressing an opinion. I find it insightful and interesting to hear this kind of reaction here on this forum. So I'll add:

    No thanks
  • Reply 18 of 22
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 1,998member
    If ESPN offered me a per game option for a fee, I'd be interested. Single hockey game or football game for $.99? Sure. But they will want $10.

    I still think there is a model for customized ads. Sign up for a game, and have a viewer adjustable field to allow ads to be customized to your likes/dislikes. The provider then pays you a very modest fee (like a penny an ad?) you can redeem for a future purchase. 

    Tim? Craig? anyone? Buhler? 
    johnfrombeyond
  • Reply 19 of 22
    If you enjoy sports, and not all the tech people on a site like this enjoy sports, ESPN has plenty of good content to appeal to millions of people. I don't like the political stuff and many of the hosts annoy the crap out of me, but if you want to watch live sports then you need ESPN. You just need it. 

    The question I have is whether live sports will be included in ESPN Plus. This article implies no, but other articles I've read imply yes. If you can be a cord cutter and get live sports for $5/month, this will be a hit. For many people I know, that's all they want in addition to free OTA channels. If you still need some sort of cable or streaming package to get the live sports portion, then this will be a major dud.

    Update: ESPN Plus WILL include live sports, it's just not clear if these are "Extra" type games or will include the same games that are broadcast on ESPN TV channels...
    edited February 7
  • Reply 20 of 22
    I use to watch ESPN all day long until it went political and slanted the storylines to the left!  I now read about sports in Sport Illustrated and local newspapers.  YouTube the sports that I follow.  No more indoctrination for me!  I do watch FS1 and FS2 but they do not have a lot of sports news programming.
    edited February 8
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