"I, personally, am incredibly excited about the potential", new ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro told reporters at the company's CT headquarters. ESPN and its parent company, Disney, announced more specific details of the service and its launch date on April 2nd. Teased earlier this month, the new app completely redesigns ESPN's interface. Those who have a cable or satellite account will get the full experience, though, since they'll be able to watch live and on-demand games intended for broadcast TV and shows such as SportsCenter.
ESPN is trying to pivot to cordcutter and cordnever demands after the company lost more than twelve million subscribers over the last few years.
That's because ESPN+, which costs $5 a month, doesn't give you ESPN.
ESPN is getting in on the streaming wars. ESPN+ is available as part of an update to the existing ESPN app, and it's made by Disney-owned BAMTech - the same company that made streaming apps for HBO and WWE. However, if you're a traditional ESPN subscriber, you can log in with your pay TV credentials and get access to live and on-demand content.
College sports will range from 20 different athletic conferences across the country and other live sports include rugby, cricket, boxing, tennis and golf. 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.
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In light of what ESPN+ is offering, the next obvious question becomes, what was Disney's intent when they chose to launch the service?
ESPN+ will offer a number of live events, though, like Major League Soccer, and episodic programming, including a new basketball analysis show from Kobe Bryant.
Pitaro said that ESPN's relationship with cable providers remains "a critical part of our business and will continue to be so".
While this may all only be of interest to sports fans for the moment, there's more in store that could have broader appeal.
I've attached ESPN's explanation of ESPN+ below, where they discuss the types of features and content you'll find in the $4.99/mo service.