On April 12, ESPN released a new app, ESPN+, with its own subscription streaming service. ESPN+ offers free content, including sports scores, news, analysis clips, video highlights and select live and on-demand sports audio content. For $5 a month, you can have the “incremental thousands of hours of live programming,” as Disney CEO Bob Iger said on the announcement of the app.
But, it’s not like you’ll be able to watch any sport 24/7 for only $5. The content you’ll be provided for the monthly fee is restricted to:
MLB – A daily game, seven days per week, throughout the regular season, a total of more than 180 games that will include every MLB team.
NHL – Beginning with the 2018-19 season, a daily game throughout the regular season-a total of more than 180 hockey games.
MLS – the entire MLS LIVE out-of-market schedule with more than 250 games this season, as well as the local-market home for the Chicago Fire, exclusively bringing 23 Fire matches to fans in Chicago.
College Sports – Football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, track & field, gymnastics, swimming & diving, lacrosse, wrestling, volleyball, golf and more.
Top Rank Boxing – Hundreds of live boxing matches, including 18 ESPN+ exclusive Top Rank fight cards throughout the year, all Top Rank on ESPN undercard fights, re-airs of all Top Rank on ESPN and Top Rank on ESPN PPV bouts, plus weigh-ins and more.
PGA Tour Golf – 50 days of coverage from 20 PGA tour events, including the RBC Heritage, THE PLAYERS Championship, the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, the FedExCup Playoffs and more.
Grand Slam Tennis – Hundreds of men’s and women’s singles, doubles and other matches from the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.
Cricket – Hundreds of Test, ODI and T20 format matches from New Zealand Cricket and Cricket Ireland.
Rugby – Hundreds of matches from SANZAAR Rugby, the HSBC World Rugby Sevens series and Major League Rugby.
Canadian Football League – Nearly 200 games from Canada’s professional league.
English Football League – Approximately 200 total matches.
UEFA Nations League – Over 100 live matches from the newly created tournament.
United Soccer League – Approximately 450 USL matches this season.
Some sports enthusiasts were bothered by the fact that ESPN’s press release made no mention of the NFL or NBA at all. Some even dared to say that ESPN+ will stream programming not valuable enough to appear on one of ESPN’s eight cable networks. However, you’ll still be able to access “TV Everywhere” if you are already an ESPN subscriber.
ESPN+ won’t be a groundbreaking app on the cord-cutting market. The company has been suffering from the declining number of viewers. This new app is not a way to recover those lost viewers but a compliment to an audience of cable subscribers who are interested in more coverage of less popular sports.
If you’re interested in exclusive content, ESPN+ is available on ESPN.com and within a redesigned ESPN app for iOS and tvOS devices. For users of Apple’s TV app, ESPN+ content is supported in the TV app on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV.