ESPN’s parent company, the Walt Disney Company, announced yesterday the release date of a new streaming service that will allow subscribers to access its wide library of sports content for a flat rate of $5 per month. The service — titled ESPN+ — will be integrated into the main ESPN mobile app, but the app itself is slated to be “completely redesigned and reimagined” on release day, which has now been announced as April 12.
It is similar to the already existing WatchESPN mobile app, with the exception that this new service will be available to those without an ESPN cable subscription. ESPN+ will offer a wide variety of sports streaming options including live game coverage and event commentary. For a monthly subscription price of $4.99, or one annual charge of $49.99, the service will base its interface on personalized sports media consumption in hopes to attract fans of both live sporting events and “high-quality original shows and films, exclusive studio programs, and… on demand [libraries].”
The standalone streaming service for the sports network comes in concurrence with an ongoing struggle to cope with the decline in cable TV popularity and an increased general preference for mobile media consumption; sports associations such as MLB, NHL, MLS, and college sports leagues hope to consolidate viewership via a unilaterally-designed mobile streaming service similar to Netflix and the streaming service designed by parent company Disney slated for release in 2019.