U.S. based global cable company ESPN has announced a new streaming service called ESPN Plus that will cost $4.99 per month and will launch this spring. ESPN, owned by The Walt Disney Company and Hearst Communications, says the offering will be built into ESPN’s main mobile app which will go through a redesign having three different sections – scores and news, live streaming through a cable authentication, and the new ESPN Plus.
Hopes of being able to watch ESPN’s main channels, like ESPN and ESPN2, without a cable subscription were quickly shut down. The sport media company does not yet see itself going through over the top streaming. ESPN would have to charge an extra amount for that to be able to balance out. Disney CEO Bob Iger said through an earning’s call that the service will provide “an incremental thousand of hours of live sports programming” as well as new and existing programming, like the critically acclaimed 30 for 30 series.
The live sports programming will be games not shown in the main channels on national TV like golf, rugby, cricket and soccer. This target audience is for the cord-cutters who don’t mind not having a cable subscription. Serious sports fans who want to see the nationally televised NFL or NBA games are the ones willing to spend the money on big cable packages. ESPN only delivers a small piece for major sports games.
ESPN is hoping this can help with their recent ad revenue decline, something that led to hundreds of employees being laid off last year.
BAMtech, a streaming company that works with major sport leagues, will help ESPN Plus get their content out there. It is also 75% owned by Disney.
Feature Image: The Daily Cardinal