ESPN’s New Streaming Service Will Debut April 12
ESPN’s new streaming video service that comes with live baseball and hockey games will debut on April 12.
The Walt Disney-owned sports network announced the launch date of its ESPN+ subscription service on Monday. Disney (DIS) CEO Bob Iger said in February that ESPN’s new streaming service would debut in spring and cost $4.99 a month.
ESPN is pitching the new online video streaming service as a more feature-packed addition to its revamped and free ESPN app. It will feature a selection of sporting events and special features not available on the free app.
The streaming video service will broadcast one Major League Baseball game each day, ultimately streaming over 180 games for the 2018 baseball season. Likewise for hockey fans, the service will also stream over 180 National Hockey League games for the 2018-2019 season.
If people want to watch more professional baseball games than what’s available on ESPN+, they will have to subscribe to the MLB’s subscription service that costs $24.99 a month, but people will be able to purchase the MLB subscription directly from the ESPN+ app.
Other major sports being offered on ESPN+ include boxing with a couple of exclusive “main event” broadcasts, over 250 Major League Soccer games, hundreds of tennis matches from the events like Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, and live coverage of the PGA Tour.
ESPN did not say whether it plans to broadcast any NBA or NFL games on its new service.
ESPN’s new paid streaming service comes amid a time when more people are switching to watching television and other broadcasts via online services like Hulu and Netflix (NFLX) rather than traditional broadcasters.
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Disney also plans to debut its own paid video streaming service in 2019 and will not make its new movies or animations available on Netflix.