Disney announced Monday that ESPN+, the network's direct-to-consumer streaming service, is launching on April 12th - priced at $4.99 per month - and sources have confirmed it will be available on Apple TV.
ESPN+ will be powered by BAMTech and will include live sports, original content and a library of on-demand programming. The linchpin will be the live events. While this might not be a full substitute for ESPN through a cable subscription, it will give sports fans access to ESPN content at a reasonable price. ESPN says the new app will be part of a "completely redesigned and reimagined ESPN App" that will be "the premier all-in-one digital sports platform for fans".
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ESPN is owned by The Walt Disney Company which will be embarking on a similar streaming project in early 2019. "This new product reflects our direct-to-consumer strategy focused on combining our beloved brands with our proprietary, industry-leading technology to give users unparalleled access to our world-class content", said Kevin Mayer, chairman of Disney's Direct-to-Consumer and global businesses, in a statement. The first boxing match the app will show is the Amir Khan versus Phil Lo Greco fight on April 21'st.
Here's what you need to know with regard to accessing ESPN+ once it is launched. It isn't much for now but more live coverage of these sports is promising.
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- MLB - ESPN+ will feature an ESPN+ MLB game each day, seven days per week, throughout the MLB regular season - more than 180 games that will include every MLB team.
In a couple weeks, you'll be able to pay just for ESPN and watch it on the go.
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Many of those leagues have their own streaming services or channels and clearly couldn't work out deals with ESPN. In theory, the ESPN app then becomes one-stop shopping for your sports streaming. And beginning with the 2018-19 National Hockey League season, ESPN+ will air more than 180 games, also a game per day throughoutthe season. The real value in ESPN+ looks to be for fans of less mainstream sports like Major League Soccer, Boxing, and college sports from smaller athletic conferences. ESPN also promises PGA golf coverage, Grand Slam tennis matches and worldwide sports like rugby and cricket will be part of its monthly streaming package. Meanwhile, passionate cricket fans across the USA will get matches across Test, ODI and T20 formats from New Zealand Cricket and Cricket Ireland.