Alongside a redesigned app, ESPN will finally launch its OTT streaming service ESPN Plus to the tune of $5 a month this spring according to CNBC. $5?! You gotta be kidding me…what a great deal. Pump the brakes just a bit. While the new OTT platform will live inside the ESPN app and will feature 10,000 different sporting events a year, many of the things that consumers enjoy through their cable subscriptions to ESPN such as NBA games and college football will not be included.
So, instead of getting a standalone ESPN with all the programming, you’re still going to have to pay your $7-9 carriage fee in your cable bill per month for ESPN, alongside your $5 a month for ESPN Plus, which at $14 a month will make both ESPN packages more expensive than the best Netflix subscription.
Another important factor is that when it comes to carriage fees, ESPN dominates every other network with the next closest being Fox Sports at $1.30, but when it comes to OTT, the WWL undercuts the likes of FloSports who charges $29.99 a month for an OTT service that focuses on more of a niche sports audience.
While it might be just the beginning for ESPN when it comes to delivering content direct to consumer, the reaction to the new service was mixed across the board.
The change of the game continues. https://t.co/FmBATRYuXH
— Tyson L. W. Geick (@TysonLW) February 7, 2018
I may consider! https://t.co/h9WDlpVWA3
— Austin Josiah (@AustinTAYshus15) February 7, 2018
— Taylor Nikithser (@tnikithser) February 7, 2018
Sounds like you will still have to subscribe to cable or one of the newer streaming services–youtubetv/sling/PSVue etc.–to get actual ESPN live sports, but the $4.99 Plus app will be good for more niche, non-broadcasted sports. https://t.co/ufEmICt7jR
— Craig Edwards (@craigjedwards) February 6, 2018
As for whether or not people would actually buy the service, we polled our Twitter followers and 63% of those who responded said no, while 37% said yes.