Friday, 27 April, 2018

Cutting cable? Here's when ESPN+ will solve your lack of streaming sports

ESPN to launch new all-in-one app ESPN ESPN to launch new all-in-one app ESPN
Sergio Cook | 04 April, 2018, 01:59

ESPN will launch its $4.99-a-month OTT app, ESPN+, on April 12, ushering in a new era for the almost 40-year-old Disney-owned sports network. "ESPN3 will still have thousands of live events and, while some content will shift to ESPN+, we will actively program live events across both platforms". 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 was built on a belief in innovation and the powerful connection between sports and a remarkable array of fans", said James Pitaro, president, ESPN/co-chair, Disney Media Networks, in the announcement.

That's great news if you're a fan of, say, the Chicago Fire (especially since ESPN+ will apparently be the local market home for 27 Fire matches in Chicago), but probably not enough to make you want to chuck your cable subscription.

ESPN+ is the first direct-to-consumer service offering from Disney Direct-to-Consumer and worldwide, the multiplatform media, technology, and distribution organization for content created by Disney's Media Networks and Studio Entertainment groups. The first boxing match the app will show is the Amir Khan versus Phil Lo Greco fight on April 21'st. Before launch, fans can access free MLS out-of-market games streaming live on live on MLSsoccer.com and the MLS App. The streaming app will offer a live Major League Baseball game every day throughout the regular season.

In a couple weeks, you'll be able to pay just for ESPN and watch it on the go.

After months of speculation, today ESPN officially announced that they will be entering the crowded streaming service fray. Add on access to the National Hockey League games is debuting with the 2018 season.

ESPN has lost more than 11 million subscribers over the last few years, primarily thanks to cord cutting and the rise of so-called "skinny" TV bundles, which provide bundles of fewer channels for less money. ESPN has definitely needed a boost, considering the amount of employees that have gotten fired in recent months, it's about time for the sports media group to pivot.

Other sports to be offered include the PGA Tour Live package, which will stream coverage of early-round action from tournaments throughout the year, tennis, rugby and cricket.

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