ESPN is the “Worldwide leader in Sports” as anyone who has ever watched ESPN knows already. But what about ESPN+? That its streaming service that offers up plenty of sports and streaming content. Though, it is not meant to be a replacement for the ESPN channels you get with your cable or live TV streaming subscription. But rather a compliment to it.
ESPN+ has plenty of original content and sports coverage that exclusive to it, like loads of UFC content and PPVs. But is it worth the price? We’re going to answer that and more questions in this article. To help you make the decision of whether ESPN+ is a good streaming service to add to your library.
It’s an interesting service, and given its price, most people will likely buy ESPN+ and forget about it.
What is ESPN+
ESPN+ is the company’s sports streaming service. It is pretty inexpensive, and has a boatload of live sports (yes, even during the pandemic somehow), and original content. There is original content from some pretty big names like Peyton Manning, Kobe Bryant (before his death in 2020), Kevin Durant and many more. ESPN+ is continuing to add original content each month.
As we’ve mentioned before, ESPN+ is not a replacement to ESPN, or a way to get all of the ESPN content in one place. Disney claims that it is a “compliment” to ESPN. It lives within the ESPN app, and a lot of the content in the app is only available with ESPN+.
Basically, it’s another place to watch sports content and get more original content to watch from your favorite athletes. It is worth mentioning that not all sports are featured as heavily on ESPN+. The main sports available on ESPN+ are UFC, Top Rank Boxing and the MLS. It’s a really great place for those that are UFC and soccer fans though.
How much is ESPN+?
As of August 23, 2022, ESPN+ is priced at $9.99 per month. Or you can pay annually for $99.99/year. Which actually gives you two months free.
It originally cost $4.99 per month. But after a couple of price increases to $6.99 in 2021, Disney decided to make the jump to $9.99 per month in August 2022. Weirdly, the Disney+ bundle has changed slightly and costs $14.99, that includes ads on Disney+ and Hulu. Now you can get Disney+ and Hulu ad-free, and ESPN+ with ads for $19.99 per month. These two bundles won’t be available until October.
Can I bundle it with Disney+ and Hulu?
Yes, you can bundle Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu together. You can bundle it for $12.99 per month. Or you can opt for the ad-free version of Hulu, with Disney+ and ESPN+ for $18.99 per month. This is a really great deal, considering Hulu is $4.99 per month or $11.99 per month for ad-free, Disney+ is $6.99 and ESPN+ is $5.99.
If you have, or want Hulu + Live TV, you can also bundle that with ESPN+ and Disney+ for $61.99 per month. Hulu + Live TV is priced at $55 per month. So this is also a really great deal.
How can I get ESPN+ for free?
Yes, but there should be an asterisk there. Verizon will give its customers the Disney+ bundle (that includes Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu) for “free” on certain unlimited plans.
If you use Verizon’s Play More Unlimited, or Get More Unlimited plans, you can get the Disney+ bundle included in your plan. These plans start at $80 per month and $90 per month, respectively. Additionally, they also offer some other goodies included, like Apple Music and Discovery+ to name a few.
What devices is ESPN+ available on?
ESPN+ lives within the ESPN app, which is available on most platforms already. These include Android, Android TV, Chromecast, Google TV, Apple TV, iOS, Amazon Fire TV, Fire Tablets, Roku, Oculus Go, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Samsung Smart TVs.
ESPN+ also just launched on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S.
This means that you can watch ESPN+ on virtually any platform, whether you’re at home, work or on the road.
Where is it available?
ESPN+ is only available in the US, at least for now. There haven’t been any announced plans for bringing the service to other regions. Where it mostly has US sports and content right now, it doesn’t look like it’ll be coming to other countries, at least not anytime soon.
If you are outside of the US, however, you can get a VPN and watch ESPN+ in another country. Though we really wouldn’t recommend it, unless you already pay for a VPN – which we all should be paying for one. As it is necessary in these times, where many companies are spying on your internet traffic and such.
What sports are available on ESPN?+?
ESPN+ includes sports from the MLB, NHL, NBA, MLS, NCAA Football and Basketball, among other leagues.
But the catch here, is that these are mostly games that no other service wants to show live. So you may see some Division II schools playing on ESPN+.
The good sports content is normally with Soccer, Top Rank Boxing and the UFC. The latter of which ESPN+ has spent millions investing in and provides plenty of original content for. For Soccer, a lot of the games aren’t picked up by mainstream sports channels, as it’s not a real popular sport in the US. So you’ll find the MLS, Premier League and many more games available. Top Rank Boxing also has a lot of great matches from time to time, though they are not exclusive to ESPN+ – they also run on Showtime.
Monday Night Football is not available on ESPN+. You will need to watch it on regular ESPN, through a streaming live TV provider like YouTube TV, FuboTV or Sling TV. Or through your cable provider.
If you’re looking to sign up for ESPN+ for the sports content, I wouldn’t. Unless you are a UFC fan. As most of the other games available on ESPN+ are just not as entertaining. Basically, ESPN+ enhances your existing sports subscriptions from the NBA, MLB and other leagues. It alone won’t give you all of the sports you want.
Are the UFC PPVs included in the monthly price?
As mentioned, ESPN+ has a ton of UFC content. It includes the PPVs, as well as Fight Nights, and pre- and post-shows for each event. Along with some original series following Dana White, finding the next big UFC fighter.
The UFC PPVs are not included in the monthly price for ESPN+, unfortunately. Each PPV will cost $69.99, it was originally $55, then went up to $65 in 2020, before going up to $70 in 2021. However, ESPN+ does often times offer a great deal for ESPN+ and the UFC PPV for those that are not subscribers. So you can get a year of the service, along with the PPV for $90. Basically, you’re paying $20 for a year of ESPN+. That works out to around $1.67 per month.
Unlike the WWE Network, where every PPV is included in the monthly fee of $9.99, that is not the case with UFC content here.
ESPN+ On Hulu
On March 10, 2021, Disney made it official and debuted the ESPN+ hub within Hulu. It works a lot like the FX on Hulu hub, where you can see all of the usual ESPN+ content, but now within the Hulu app. So you won’t need to jump between apps to watch different content.
For now, you can still watch ESPN+ content within the ESPN app, but that might change in the future.
Additionally, if you are paying for ESPN+ and Hulu separately (a la, you don’t have the Disney+ bundle), you may not be able to watch ESPN+ on Hulu. Though that is expected to change in the coming days. As things get ironed out here.
Sun Belt Conference
In July 2022, ESPN announced that it would be adding Sun Belt Conference games to ESPN+. That adds over 6,000 live sporting events to the platform. The Sun Belt Conference includes the following schools:
- Appalachian State University
- Arkansas State
- Coastal Carolina University
- Georgia Southern University
- Georgia State University
- James Madison University
- University of Louisiana
- University of Louisiana At Monroe
- Marshall University
- Old Dominion University
- University of South Alabama
- Texas State University
- Troy University
This is a deal that will be available throughout the 2030-31 season. And this is in addition to the recent deals for the XFL, Canadian football (CFL), and expansions of NHL and MLB content.
How much original content is available?
There is an ever-growing library of original content available on ESPN+. Below, you’ll see most of the shows that are available on ESPN+. But the service is continuing to announce new content monthly.
- Detail – A franchise of programs featuring analysis of sports by associated players. The initial, basketball version of the series was hosted and produced by Kobe Bryant until his death in January 2020. In October 2018, ESPN announced that Peyton Manning would host an NFL version of the program. On June 29, 2019, ESPN announced a mixed martial arts version of the program hosted by Daniel Cormier. In April 2020, it was announced that Golden State Warriors head coach and former Chicago Bulls player Steve Kerr, along with former Bulls coach Phil Jackson, would host special Bulls-themed episodes of Detail as part of ESPN’s ambitious documentary series, The Last Dance, focused on the Michael Jordan-led Bulls dynasty in the 1990s.
- ESPN FC – A studio program focusing on soccer; it moved from airing on the networks to exclusively being on ESPN+.
- In The Crease – a daily NHL highlight and discussion show hosted by Linda Cohn and Barry Melrose.
- Quest for the Stanley Cup – A documentary series following the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs (moving from Showtime).
- Last Train to Russia – A documentary series previewing the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
- Year One – A documentary series following the 2017-2018 NBA Rookie Class, featuring Jayson Tatum, Ben Simmons, and Donovan Mitchell.
- MLS Rewind – A weekly recap of Major League Soccer action, hosted by Taylor Twellman and featuring analysis from Alejandro Moreno.
- I’ll Take That Bet – A series focusing on sports betting, in conjunction with The Action Network.
- Ariel and the Bad Guy – A weekly mixed martial arts discussion show hosted by Ariel Helwani and Chael Sonnen.
- The Fantasy Show – A fantasy football analysis show hosted by Matthew Berry. Originally aired on ESPN2 in its first season.
- Always Late with Katie Nolan – A late night talk show-inspired series hosted by Katie Nolan, serving as a successor to her previous Fox Sports 1 program Garbage Time. The start of its second season in late September 2019 will see it being carried on the mainline ESPN2 network on Thursday evenings, in addition to continued ESPN+ carriage.
- Peyton’s Places – A documentary series hosted by former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning.
- NFL PrimeTime – Hosted by Chris Berman and Tom Jackson, a digital-only version of the popular NFL highlight show that aired on ESPN for nearly 30 years. The program airs live at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday nights during the regular season, recapping the afternoon’s games. The show is updated with segments recapping the Sunday and Monday-night games after their completion, which are respectively hosted by Scott Van Pelt, Steve Levy, and previously, Joe Tessitore.
- Miles to Go – a documentary series following Les Miles, coach of the Kansas Jayhawks football team.
Does ESPN+ stream in 4K HDR?
Yes and no. Most sports are not broadcast in 4K HDR, at least not yet. However, ESPN does have a new studio that is built for streaming in 4K HDR quality. So you may see some original content as well as analysis shows stream in 4K.
But for the most part, ESPN+ does not stream in 4K. However that is going to change in the near future. As more content is available in 4K HDR.
How fast does my internet need to be for ESPN+?
ESPN+ recommends Internet speeds of at least 25Mbps. Which is likely what everyone has, and of course the faster the better. But 25Mbps is the bare minimum here.
That is pretty much what most streaming services list as their minimum speed for streaming their service and content. So this isn’t a big surprise.
If you have faster internet available, it’s worth it. Especially if there are more people in your home, that might be streaming ESPN+, Netflix and other services. As those can really slow down your network.
Are there ads?
Yes, ESPN+ will show ads on live content, just like you were watching ESPN on your cable or streaming live TV provider. However, with original content that is available on demand, you will only see pre-roll ads.
How many concurrent streams can I have?
ESPN+ allows for up to three concurrent streams. This is pretty much the same as every other streaming service on the market. Most offer two or three concurrent streams.
This means that you could theoretically share it with someone, without running into any issues of not being able to watch ESPN+ when you wanted to.
How can I sign up for ESPN+?
You can sign up for ESPN+ by clicking here. You can choose to sign up for ESPN+ by itself or the Disney+ bundle.
ESPN+ no longer offers up a free trial unfortunately. But there is no requirement for how long you need to keep ESPN+. So you can get it for a month and then end your membership without facing any consequences.
If you’re a big sports fan, then ESPN+ is a really good streaming service to add. Especially as it adds more original content from athletes and other big names in sports.