ESPN's streaming service will arrive this spring, and Disney CEO Bob Iger just revealed how much it's going to cost to subscribe. Iger shared the information during Disney's quarterly earnings call, and the House of Mouse is looking to undercut Netflix as well as others for one of the cheapest premium subscription services available. Iger said ESPN's OTT (Over The Top) streaming service will be free at the base level and run at $4.99 a month for premium content.
The streaming service is reasonably priced and sounds as though it will be one of the most loaded streaming services on the market. Bob Iger stressed the app is a complete overhaul of the existing ESPN app. Users who access the app for free will get access to sports scores, highlights, podcasts, and various live streams. That's a healthy amount of benefits to offer for free, and the paid subscription has some much bigger perks that will make sports fans everywhere happily part ways with their $4.99 once a month.
ESPN Plus subscribers will get all of the aforementioned free content plus thousands of hours of live programming and the full library of 30 for 30 specials. Additionally, ESPN will create original content for the app, although it was not stated whether or not that content will only be available to ESPN Plus subscribers or everyone. Deadline reports that the redesigned ESPN app launches this spring and can be found on iOS devices, Android devices, and ChromeCast. Iger said more compatible platforms will be coming down the line.
ESPN's price point and app offerings are sure to attract even those who've turned away from the network as of late, as increased competition from other sports outlets and other changes have affected the company's bottom line for revenue. Disney's hope is that the additional revenue stream from the app will help the network continue to thrive as "the worldwide leader in sports" and become a haven for cord-cutting families who want to watch sporting events. It will almost certainly help, although the app's lack of coverage for events like Monday Night Football (for now), the NCAA tournament, and other key sporting events may give some potential subscribers pause and make them wonder if the service is really worth snatching up.
For those that don't love sports, the app could be a sneak peek at what Disney has in store for its brand-specific streaming service, which is set to launch in 2019. The two brands are definitely different beasts in what they offer, but the fact that ESPN's streaming service will offer things like podcasts which services like Netflix or Hulu lack will make it interesting to see what other stuff Disney has up its sleeve for its launch. Of course, perhaps speculation should be left until after the launch of ESPN's app, as it's possible this whole experience may not work the way everyone expects it to.
ESPN's streaming service is set to launch this spring. For more on upcoming television programming, head on over to our midseason premiere guide.