The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) segment announced today that ESPN+, the multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from DTCI in collaboration with ESPN, has surpassed one million paying subscribers in just over five months since its April 2018 launch.
“Reaching one million paid subscribers is an important milestone for any video subscription service, but reaching this benchmark in such a short amount of time is an incredible testament to the teams from DTCI and ESPN who have worked tirelessly to bring this product to market and continually improve it since our April launch,” said Kevin Mayer, chairman, Direct-to-Consumer and International, The Walt Disney Company. “We’re thrilled so many sports fans have quickly come to love the service. The future is bright and we believe growth will continue as we add features, distribution partners and more exclusive content in the coming months.”
Jimmy Pitaro, President of ESPN and co-Chair, Disney Media Networks added, “Combining sports, technology and the ESPN brand is a very powerful combination, and we are just getting started. Very quickly, a wide range of sports fans have seen the value of ESPN+. With high quality programming and an outstanding user experience, ESPN and DTCI are expanding the ways Disney is serving sports fans.”
Most Comprehensive Sports Streaming Offering
Since launch, ESPN+ has continued to build out its programming portfolio, offering the most comprehensive live event lineup of any premium sports streaming service, along with a burgeoning collection of high-quality original programming.
- MLB & NHL: ESPN+ brings fans hundreds of live games every year from the MLB and NHL. The inaugural NHL on ESPN+ season begins October 3rd and will include more than 180 live games, averaging seven games per week during the regular season. Since launch, ESPN+ has featured MLB action daily – more than 180 MLB games by the close of the regular season this month.
- Global Soccer: ESPN+ is home to hundreds of soccer matches from around the globe, including being the exclusive streaming home in the U.S. for MLS LIVE (more than 250 games), Italy’s Serie A TIM (more than 340 Italian soccer matches per year, including Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent debut with Juventus) and England’s FA Cup. The ESPN+ soccer lineup also includes UEFA Nations League, English Football League (EFL Championship, League 1, League 2 and Carabao Cup), United Soccer League (USL) and more.
- Top Rank Boxing and UFC: Thanks to a comprehensive agreement with Top Rank, ESPN+ has become a boxing destination showcasing top U.S. and international championship fights, as well as comprehensive coverage of up-and-coming prospects and contenders. Additionally, starting in January 2019, ESPN+ will offer 30 Fight Nights, of which 20 are exclusive to the service as a result of a multi-year agreement between DTCI and the UFC.
- College Football: College football kicked off last month with more than 200 games from over a dozen conferences, including the Big South, Conference USA, the Ivy League, Sun Belt, Mid-American Conference and many others. College football leads a lineup of thousands of college sports events throughout the year on ESPN+, including basketball, soccer, volleyball, lacrosse and more.
- Grand Slam Tennis: ESPN+ brings fans hundreds of tennis matches from three of the major events from the tennis schedule, The US Open, Wimbledon and The Australian Open.
- Original Programming: ESPN+ is also home to a library of high-quality original programming like the new 30 for 30 documentary, “Seau” (directed by Kirby Bradley); original studio programs like “Always Late with Katie Nolan”, “Detail” from Kobe Bryant, “The Fantasy Show with Mathew Berry”, “ESPN FC”, “In The Crease”, “Ariel and the Bad Guy” with Ariel Helwani; original series like “Earn Everything” about Duke Basketball, “NBA: Year One”, “Draft Academy” and “Quest for The Stanley Cup”; the entire 30 For 30 library and more.
- More Live Sports: ESPN+ also offers fans international rugby and cricket, FIBA basketball, lacrosse, Little League World Series, esports (including League of Legends) and more.
More Value: Price, Accessibility, Premium Editorial & Features
- Price: Fans subscribe to ESPN+ for just $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year) and can cancel at any time.
- Broad Distribution: ESPN+ is an integrated part of the ESPN app, the leading sports app, with an optimized experience available across mobile (iOS, Android) and living room devices (Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, Roku – more platforms coming this year). ESPN+ is also available on the web through ESPN.com.
- Premium Content: An update to the ESPN App (v 6.2) last month integrated ESPN Insider into the ESPN+ service, bringing fans access to differentiated expert editorial analysis on players, teams, and leagues, as well as analytics tools to help fans get an edge in their fantasy games – all under the ESPN+ brand.
- Limited Ad Experience: ESPN+ subscribers get a differentiated advertising experience throughout the entire ESPN App or website, with no display ads and no pre-roll ads within video content (ads remain in the natural advertising breaks of live sports content).