On Monday, ESPN announced the release date of their direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service ESPN+, which will officially hit the market on Thursday, April 12. The service will carry a $4.99 monthly charge (or you can buy it for $49.99 annually). Early consensus would appear to be that you should keep your cable package, but the press release telling you what you'd get from the service was still pretty freaking long.
So what will be available, exactly? Here's the rundown:
- An MLB game every day throughout the season, totaling more than 180. Furthermore these games will include all teams, except your local one (which would be blacked out).
- Similarly, an NHL game for every day of the season. Just like the MLB offering that will total more than 180 match-ups. Also, just like the MLB offering, blackout rules apply.
- A year-round boxing schedule with "feature high-quality boxing" throughout the year, plus a host of undercard fights.
- All out-of-market MLS games (totaling over 250), plus it will be the local market for the Chicago Fire.
- Thousands of college events, including "...football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, track & field, gymnastics, swimming & diving, lacrosse, wrestling, volleyball, golf and more" from often overlooked conferences, including the "America East, ASun, Big South, Big West, Horizon, Ivy League, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, Missouri Valley, NEC, Southern Conference, Southland, Summit League, Sun Belt, WAC, and many more."
- Over 100 days of coverage from 31 PGA Tour events. This coverage will include broadcasts of Thursday, Friday, and "some" Saturday/Sunday events.
- "Hundreds of tennis matches" from Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, and the Australian Open.
- Plus rugby and cricket coverage.
Whether or not that sounds worth it to you is your call. For now, we remain skeptical (sorry cord cutters), but as the release states:
More details about ESPN+ and the redesigned ESPN App – including further details about live sports, original and on-demand programming and more – will be announced ahead of launch.
It's worth noting that it's just a start. It'd be naive to think they won't tweak/adjust this to service the demands of their subscribers at some point in the future. So stay tuned.