We already knew Disney was planning to debut its standalone ESPN streaming service this spring and how much it would cost, but now we know exactly when it will arrive. The network announced today that its ESPN+ subscription will debut April 12th. On that date, you can expect to tap into a library of sports content that includes live event coverage, ESPN originals and on-demand options for $5 a month.
The new streaming service will be integrated into the ESPN app -- much like WatchESPN already is for cable subscribers. The networks says the ESPN+ subscription will offer access to live coverage of games and events from MLB, NHL, MLS, colleges sports, boxing, PGA golf, tennis and more. Tucking all of that into the ESPN app most followers of the network area already familiar with means easy access as well. As you might expect, ESPN+ will also be available on the web through ESPN.com.
ESPN's struggles to cope with the cord-cutting movement are well documented, and the network (and its parent company Disney) is looking to this standalone option to draw sports fans back in. $5 a month is certainly an attractive price point for the service, so we'll have to wait and see if the hordes of viewers who dropped their cable plan are ready to add live sports back into their streaming regimen. Disney also has big plans for a streaming service of its own slated to launch in 2019. No word on pricing for that one just yet, but CEO Bob Iger has already said we can expect it to be cheaper than Netflix.