The US-based leaders in Sports broadcasting ESPN has confirmed that its new direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service ESPN Plus will be launched on April 12.
The new platform, being launched by Walt Disney owned sports broadcaster, suggests major shift by ESPN into the lucrative and highly competitive global sports OTT industry. ESPN Plus is a revamped model of live streaming experts BAMTech which was acquired by the Walt Disney Company last year.
The new OTT service is priced at $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year and will offer live sports, original content and a range of on-demand programming. ESPN Plus will be an integrated part of a redesigned ESPN app, while it will also be available through ESPN.com.
The users will be able to enjoy exclusive studio programs and extensive range of on-demand library on ESPN Plus.
ESPN has said that live sports content line up will include Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Soccer (MLS), college sports, boxing, PGA Tour golf and Grand Slam tennis tournaments. Other programming details will be revealed in the coming days.
There is a lot more for fans who enjoy college sports, cricket, Rugby union (Super Rugby, Rugby Championship, World Rugby Sevens series, Major League rugby). The bouquet of sports content will also include pro boxing action starting April 21 Amir Khan vs. Phil Lo Greco bout in Liverpool, England.
James Pitaro, recently appointed as president of ESPN and co-chair of Disney Media Networks, said, “ESPN was built on a belief in innovation and the powerful connection between sports and a remarkable array of fans. That same belief is at the heart of ESPN Plus and the new ESPN app.”
“With ESPN Plus, fans have access to thousands more live games, world-class original programmes and on-demand sports content, all at a great price. They will get all of that as a part of a completely re-imagined, increasingly personalised ESPN app that provides easy, one-stop access to everything ESPN offers.”
Kevin Mayer, chairman of direct-to-consumer and international for The Walt Disney Company, said, “The launch of ESPN Plus marks the beginning of an exciting new era of innovation for our media businesses – one defined by an increasingly direct and personal relationship with consumers. This new product reflects our direct-to-consumer strategy focused on combining our beloved brands with our proprietary, industry-leading technology to give users unparalleled access to our world-class content.”
Michael Paull, president of BAMTech Media, added, “ESPN Plus will connect fans directly to sports they love wherever and whenever they want. Together, BAMTech’s industry-leading direct-to-consumer video platform and capabilities combined with ESPN’s unmatched sports content will deliver fans an all-new streaming experience with exciting product features built for watching incredible live and on-demand sports.”