ESPN has confirmed that its new subscription streaming service will be launching this month. The sports media company, that is jointly owned by The Walt Disney Company and Hearst Communications, already offers a number of traditional cable TV channels but has made no secret of its plans to enter the streaming market. Now, however, the company has finally confirmed that its new service, dubbed ESPN+, will be launching April 12 in the United States.
ESPN+ has been crafted as yet another extra that will be offered alongside the company's cable channels. Ultimately, this means that ESPN+ will not be showing any content that is currently shown on ESPN, ESPN 2, or ESPN Classic. Instead, the new streaming service will focus on live game coverage, with the total number said to be in the "thousands." Among this will be over 180 MLB and NHL games throughout their respective seasons. In addition, boxing will also play a major role on the platform, with a selection of exclusive main even fights set to be included, the first of which will take place April 21, as well as a variety of historic fights from archives. Major League Soccer fans can also expect to see over 250 games, while a wide range of college sports will be made available via the streaming platform. On a final note, Golf, Rugby, Cricket, and Tennis fans will also be catered to throughout the year. Not everything will be live games, though, with the service also set to include a number of original programs and films, as well as other sports-related content. Price wise, ESPN's new service will be available for $4.99 per month, with the new service set to be integrated into the current app via an upcoming update, which will bring a "completely re-imagined" and "increasingly personalized" experience, according to ESPN President James Pitaro, not to mention the fact that it should provide "one-stop access to everything ESPN offers." However, those who wish to can also purchase the service for $49.99 per year.
On a separate note, it appears ESPN+ will serve as a slight test for the Disney. After all, the company confirmed that both ESPN's new streaming service and Disney's upcoming subscription streaming platform are powered by the same technology. Speaking of Disney's own Netflix rival, it is set to launch in 2019 with a host of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm movies and TV shows, not to mention a wide range of original content.