It’s time we look at ESPN+, what it costs, what you get and what you’ll miss. NBA? NFL? What about Soccer? Please tell me we can watch Squash!
I admit- It took me WAY too long to figure out what ESPN+ is. It’s only been out for about a year now, but I finally did it! And that’s what we’re going to talk about today. I know i’m a little slow. ESPN+ already has about 2 million subscribers, so many of you probably already have it. If you’re not a subscriber yet, let’s make you one!
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What is ESPN+? Well, let’s start with what it isn’t.
● Not ESPN. No Sportscenter, no Skip Bayless or Steven A Smith, no marquee live events
● This means not much (if any!) of the big American sports- NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL (You will get a LOT of soccer- MLS & European)
● Not your place to watch the big college football game either
● It’s $5/mo (7-day trial)
● Available on all the major devices- literally!
It’s tempting to think of ESPN+ as ESPN’s warmed-up leftovers. And if you’re only a casual sports fan, that might be accurate enough. But honestly, it’s not. It’s complementary. There are two major categories of things to watch on ESPN+. I’ll save the best for last, but let’s start with the live sports.
You get TONS of live sports outside of the big marquee events on ESPN+.
● Soccer – All out-of-market MLS games (just like MLB.TV, NBA.TV and NHL.TV), plus some English and European leagues as well. If you’re a soccer fan- this is a GREAT deal!
● Canadian Football
● Some college sports- Mid-tier football, basketball, baseball, lacrosse, track & field, field hockey, or … squash
● Boxing, MMA
● You do get at least one MLB and an NHL game-of-the-day, but it’s the same one you’d get for free on MLB.TV or NHL.TV
Outside of live sports, you also get sports-related shows. And this is, in my opinion, the real strength of ESPN+.
● 30 For 30 programs. Like, all of them! And there’s WAY more than 30!
● ESPN+ Originals. These are super niche, but really well done.
My favorite of the Originals is a show called Detail, where Kobe Bryant breaks down the skills of NBA stars, or Peyton Manning does the same for NFL plays and players. And there’s a lot more where that came from.
So…. is ESPN+ worth $5. ABSOLUTELY!!! If you love sports content, then this is absolutely what you’re looking for. And we now know that with Disney buying Hulu, there’s potential for a really good bundle coming soon (Hulu, Disney+ & ESPN+). It’s going to be pretty great!
But again, if you’re only looking for a ton of MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL content, ESPN+ isnt’ for you. If you love soccer or the niche sports I mentioned, this is totally worth it for you.
I sometimes say that I’m starting to think the key to saving money on TV service is to divorce ourselves from the notion that we *MUST* have live TV. Similarly, if you want to save money on your sports content and you can be happy without a ton of marquee sports, then ESPN+ for $5 is a frickin’ steal! You get all the niche sports, a ton of documentaries, so you can have a lot of sports content for cheap- if you’re willing to let go of live TV.
Video clip courtesy of ESPN.