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ESPN will be charging $4.99 per month for a new standalone streaming service that is set to launch this spring, according to an announcement made by Disney CEO Bob Iger on Tuesday. The hugely anticipated service will be part of a new ESPN app, which Iger revealed shortly after the company posted its quarterly earnings.
"This will enable people to access ESPN just about any way imaginable," Iger said, according to Variety. "If anything points to what the future of ESPN looks like, it will be this."
The network, which once appeared to have a license to print money, is less of a sure thing for investors who fear the 24-hour sports behemoth (which has seen lower viewership and ad revenues) will continue to lose profitability as consumers decide to cut the cord.
Variety adds that this new app will give those who purchase it "the ability to live stream the channels themselves." The catch is that those opting for that route will have to be an ESPN subscriber by "traditional or non-traditional" methods. If, like me, you have no clue what that means, Iger elaborated a bit during an interview with CNBC.
"The third feature is a plus service, we're calling it ESPN Plus," he told them. "That will include an array of live
programming that is not available — live sports, live sports events — not available on current channels." Furthermore, CNBC reports that the platform will have roughly 10,000 sporting events, made up of content from MLB, NHL, MLS, tennis' Grand Slam stuff, as well as college athletics.
In addition to that, the service will give "highly personalized" sports news/coverage based upon your geographical location (or whatever teams you follow). Subscribers will also get access to premium ESPN content including its full roster of 30 For 30 documentaries.