Disney announced that its first direct to consumer streaming service, ESPN+, will release on April 12.
ESPN+ will feature live sporting events, original programming, and an on-demand library. What it does not include is programming from the ESPN network. The on-demand library could refer to classic sporting games, documentaries, or a list of selected ESPN original programming.
By paying $5 a month, users will get 180 Major League Baseball and 180 National Hockey League games. The service offers one MLB game a day and games beyond that will cost an extra $24.99 a month through the MLB’s subscription service. NHL games will begin streaming next season.
There will also be over 250 Major League Soccer games available for streaming as well as year-round boxing coverage. ESPN+ will also offer Professional Golf Association tours, Tennis championships, cricket and rugby matches.
Unfortunately, there is no mention of NFL or NBA games, most likely due to the limited rights, ESPN has over those games. TNT owns a majority of NBA games. And the NFL is spread out between NBC, Fox, CBS and potentially Amazon.
"The launch of ESPN+ marks the beginning of an exciting new era of innovation for our media businesses — one defined by an increasingly direct and personal relationship with consumers," said Kevin Mayer, the chairman for direct to consumer division of Disney.
Disney is looking forward to creating original TV shows and adaptations of the most popular franchises. There is already a rumored discussion for new Star Wars and The Muppets shows.
With the decrease of satellite TV and more consumers turning to streaming services for entertainment, Disney is looking to get ahead in the sports streaming market.
Are you excited for ESPN+? Will you pay $5 a month for it?