ibusinesslines.com August 16, 2018

Subscription service launched today. Here's what to expect

12 April 2018, 10:27 | Jodi Jackson

ESPN President James Pitaro previewed ESPN+ last week at the ESPN Technology Center

ESPN and its new president James Pitaro look for a win from a new sports streaming service

The service will not offer live sporting events nor access to ESPN but will be catered as a platform for "niche sports".

During a briefing at ESPN's studio in downtown Los Angeles, Mayer told reporters he expects the service will become profitable and will provide valuable insight for other Disney streaming services. ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, SEC Network, SEC Network Plus, ESPNews ESPN Deportes, and Longhorn Network are all available to stream live in the ESPN App. Access to live video is determined by your TV provider and package and, in some instances, your Internet service provider.

The service will include specialty programming for sports like rugby and cricket, along with select Major League Baseball and NHL games, worldwide sports and more - but no NFL games. The app will also be available for Apple and Android TVs, Amazon tablets, Amazon Fire TV products, and Google's Chromecast. ESPN+ doesn't have the games or shows you'll find on the traditional ESPN channels.

The service is also promising more than 100 days of coverage from 31 PGA Tour events, hundreds of tennis matches from tournaments like Wimbledon and the U.S. Open as well as hundreds of rugby and cricket matches. To gain access to ESPN+, you will have to head on over to the revamped version of their mobile app. As a loyal theScore user, I'm actually going to give this ESPN update a fair spin. There's one free Major League Baseball and NHL game a day during the regular season, but you can only watch them if you're out-of-market.

The launch comes less than two months after the launch of CBS Sports HQ, a free streaming sports service.

Another way of putting it: If you go check out ESPN's refreshed app*, which includes an option to pay for ESPN+, you'll see lots of promotions for ESPN programs that aren't live sports, like a new Bobby Knight documentary and a new basketball analysis show "written, produced and hosted" by Kobe Bryant.

The Disney-owned ESPN knows this. Furthermore, if Disney is able to win over FOX, then ESPN+ will be the ideal platform to offer those new content as add-ons.

7-day free trial, followed by a subscription fee of $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year.

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