New ESPN+ herald of Disney's future efforts, will ramp up challenge to Apple's nascent vid...

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited April 12
Disney on Thursday launched ESPN+, its entirely internet-based sports streaming service intended to appeal to cord-cutters using technology that it will likely use to launch its own streaming service in the near future.




The service costs $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year, and is focused heavily on live coverage of pro baseball, hockey, and soccer, and to a lesser extent sports like basketball, boxing, auto racing, rugby, and tennis. Conspicuously missing from the equation is NFL football, though missing leagues may be added later.

By default, live games will stream at 60 frames per second. Subscribers also get on-demand access to ESPN's "30 for 30" documentaries, and some exclusive shows, such as "Detail" -- set to air during the NBA playoffs, and hosted by Kobe Bryant -- as well as the eight-part "Draft Academy."

ESPN+ is based on technology from BAMTech, which Disney acquired a 33 percent stake in for about $1 billion in August 2017. The company is prominent in the video streaming industry, some other clients being the NHL, MLB, PGA, WWE, and HBO Now.

The service is being positioned as complementary to the main ESPN channels, and as such will actually lack some flagship shows, particularly "SportsCenter."

Launch platforms include iOS, Apple TV, Android/Chromecast, Amazon devices, and the Web. On Apple devices, ESPN+ is included as an option within the main ESPN app, which has been updated for compatibility as well as a new user interface.

Disney is using it as a test-bed and foundation for its own forthcoming streaming service that will raise the ante for Apple's upcoming video efforts. Apple is expected to launch its first slate of high-budget programming as soon as March 2019, with the help of a number of high-profile industry executives led by Jamie Ehrlicht and Zach Van Amburg.

Apple, though, is focusing primarily on scripted content, the most recent addition being an adaptation of Isaac Asimov's sci-fi epic "Foundation." Other sci-fi shows include an "Amazing Stories reboot and a drama from "Battlestar Galactica" veteran Ronald Moore.

Other planned vehicles include a sketch show starring Kristin Wiig, and a morning talk show drama with Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston. Rapper and frequent Apple Music collaborator Drake has allegedly been granted a blank check to work on shows and movies.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    supadav03supadav03 Posts: 327member
    Don’t really see how this competes with Apple’s rumored video service at all. Apple getting into live sports broadcasting and I missed it? Don’t know how successful this will be. No SportsCenter & no sports/events that are being broadcast on ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPNU. So it’s going to be very niche. 
  • Reply 2 of 12
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 1,850member
    I hate ESPN right now. This new paid service is a slap in the face to us soccer fans. It's really disappointing ESPN has decided to move the daily soccer show ESPNFC to this crap. Looks like we are going to start paying for all the other soccer matches in Europe that are usually shown with your current subscription on ESPN3. 
  • Reply 3 of 12
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 2,344administrator
    supadav03 said:
    Don’t really see how this competes with Apple’s rumored video service at all. Apple getting into live sports broadcasting and I missed it? Don’t know how successful this will be. No SportsCenter & no sports/events that are being broadcast on ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPNU. So it’s going to be very niche. 
    Not specifically ESPN+. However, ESPN+ is owned by Disney, and the CDN used for ESPN+ will be used for Disney's service.
  • Reply 4 of 12
    zonezone Posts: 43member
    Disney is horrible and no one is going to pay for their limited content. I love how they're the only ones who don't upgrade movies to 4K on ATV. Too much of a PC company as well... Sad!
    racerhomie3
  • Reply 5 of 12
    Yeah good luck with that. People are ditching cable because they are tired of paying for bundled sports packages with ESPN. Their subscribers are disappearing. When you see a network with an app that unbundles their channel, they are collapsing. 
  • Reply 6 of 12
    tokoloshtokolosh Posts: 100member
    I hate ESPN right now. This new paid service is a slap in the face to us soccer fans. It's really disappointing ESPN has decided to move the daily soccer show ESPNFC to this crap. Looks like we are going to start paying for all the other soccer matches in Europe that are usually shown with your current subscription on ESPN3. 
    It may make it a bit more difficult for fans of European soccer leagues but a lot of that is on FS1, NBCSports or BeIN anyway. 

    This is helpful to fans of soccer teams in the US though. For MLS fans this replaces the old MLSLive platform and will be $10-$15 cheaper than the MLSLive subscription was. They will also be adding many USL matches so for any fans of the second division teams there is an upgraded way to follow those teams. For me just what I gain in access to US soccer teams is worth the subscription.
  • Reply 7 of 12
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 1,850member
    tokolosh said:
    I hate ESPN right now. This new paid service is a slap in the face to us soccer fans. It's really disappointing ESPN has decided to move the daily soccer show ESPNFC to this crap. Looks like we are going to start paying for all the other soccer matches in Europe that are usually shown with your current subscription on ESPN3. 
    It may make it a bit more difficult for fans of European soccer leagues but a lot of that is on FS1, NBCSports or BeIN anyway. 

    This is helpful to fans of soccer teams in the US though. For MLS fans this replaces the old MLSLive platform and will be $10-$15 cheaper than the MLSLive subscription was. They will also be adding many USL matches so for any fans of the second division teams there is an upgraded way to follow those teams. For me just what I gain in access to US soccer teams is worth the subscription.
    True, but I meant European national teams. I watched a ton of World Cup qualifying matches and the playoffs through ESPN3. Looks like we will have to pay for that now if I want to see those games in the future. I did read this new service will include the UEFA Nations League when that starts up as well as a ton of English Football League matches each week. 
  • Reply 8 of 12
    Streaming video services are not JUST or MAINLY a challenge to Apple. I'd say they are the least important challenge amongst a billion software and hardware issues. Netflix and Amazon and Hulu, yeah. A total change in how sports are marketed, paid for and consumed, cable TV completely changing - yes. None of those issues are direct hits against Apple, in fact they may be good signs as businesses change and new opportunities show up.

    I would guess Apple will tie their 'video' offerings into iTunes and Apple music in various ways. Amazon produces video content to help push the Prime services. I would guess Apple will have a similar offer. It won't be APPLE TV, but TV SHOWS available from Apple along with thee other services. 

    Disney is defining their turf, but Apple has the least to worry about from them. They could always just buy Disney and be done with it.
  • Reply 9 of 12
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,377member
    Streaming video services are not JUST or MAINLY a challenge to Apple. I'd say they are the least important challenge amongst a billion software and hardware issues. Netflix and Amazon and Hulu, yeah. A total change in how sports are marketed, paid for and consumed, cable TV completely changing - yes. None of those issues are direct hits against Apple, in fact they may be good signs as businesses change and new opportunities show up.

    I would guess Apple will tie their 'video' offerings into iTunes and Apple music in various ways. Amazon produces video content to help push the Prime services. I would guess Apple will have a similar offer. It won't be APPLE TV, but TV SHOWS available from Apple along with thee other services. 

    Disney is defining their turf, but Apple has the least to worry about from them. They could always just buy Disney and be done with it.
    Yeah not getting the suggestion of DOOM in headline -- here Apple wins as a platform, despite being a content producer also. The old "Heads, I win; tails, you lose" joke. 

    Content apps pose a competitive risk to companies who rely heavily on content. Not the platform owner.
  • Reply 10 of 12
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 2,344administrator
    zone said:
    Disney is horrible and no one is going to pay for their limited content. I love how they're the only ones who don't upgrade movies to 4K on ATV. Too much of a PC company as well... Sad!
    Parents will.
    montrosemacs
  • Reply 11 of 12
     To watch my MLS games plus usl games is worth it Cricket and rugby are a bonus for me
  • Reply 12 of 12
    supadav03supadav03 Posts: 327member
    zone said:
    Disney is horrible and no one is going to pay for their limited content. I love how they're the only ones who don't upgrade movies to 4K on ATV. Too much of a PC company as well... Sad!
    As a father of 4 young kids, I am extremely interested in Disney’s streaming service. I’ll likely keep Netflix but drop Hulu for Disney’s service once it launches.
    edited April 13
Sign In or Register to comment.