ESPN Cuts Out Middleman With New Streaming Service

BRISTOL, CONN.–ESPN will launch ESPN+, a new subscription streaming service April 12, offering live sports, original content, exclusive studio programs and a library of on-demand programming direct to consumers for $4.99 per month, the sports network announced this week.

“With ESPN+, fans have access to thousands more live games, world class original programs and on-demand sports content, all at a great price,” said ESPN President and Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks James Pitaro. “They will get all of that as a part of a completely re-imagined, increasingly personalized ESPN App that provides easy, one-stop access to everything ESPN offers.”

The new service has been created in partnership with Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International, the multiplatform media, technology and distribution organization for content created by Disney’s Media Networks and Studio Entertainment groups. It will be integrated into a redesigned ESPN App and made available via, the sports network said.

ESPN+, the first direct-to-consumer service from Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International, will be powered by BAMTECH, a unit of Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International.

Another direct-to-consumer subscription service will launch in late 2019 to deliver Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm movies on-demand as well as exclusive hosted content. It too will be powered by BAMTECH.

{Read: Disney, BAMTech Will Launch ESPN Streaming Service]

ESPN+ is only one part of the newly launched ESPN App. The app also includes scores, news and highlights, TV Everywhere video authenticated live streaming of ESPN’s eight U.S. networks and ESPN audio, both live and on demand.

Live ESPN+ content will include:

· More than 180 MLB games: One per day throughout the season

· More than 180 NHL games: Game of the day all season long;

· Year-round boxing, including a selection of exclusive main event fights;

· More than 250 MLS games, and

· Thousands of college sports games and events.

“The launch of ESPN+ marks the beginning of an exciting new era of innovation for our media businesses—one defined by an increasingly direct and personal relationship with consumers,” said Kevin Mayer, chairman, Direct-to-Consumer and International, The Walt Disney Company.

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.