Disney’s sports streaming service ESPN+ is building an audience at a healthy clip. The service has already amassed one million subscribers.
The service, priced at $4.99 per month, launched about five months ago on April 12. ESPN+ offers games from the MLB and NHL along with a year-round boxing schedule, more than 250 Major League Soccer matches and college sports including football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, track & field, gymnastics, swimming & diving, lacrosse, wrestling, volleyball, golf and more from 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 more.
The service also promised more than 100 days of coverage from 31 PGA Tour events, hundreds of tennis matches from tournaments like Wimbledon and the U.S. Open as well as hundreds of rugby and cricket matches.
“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+ and the new ESPN App. With ESPN+, fans have access to thousands more live games, world class original programs 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 personalized ESPN App that provides easy, one-stop access to everything ESPN offers,” said ESPN President James Pitaro in a statement.
As the The Wall Street Journal report points out, hitting the 1 million subscriber mark is important for Pitaro, who took over as president of ESPN in March and was expected to help the streaming service get off to a good start.
Getting into the million-subscriber range puts ESPN+ near the level of other successful direct-to-consumer offerings like virtual MVPDs Sling TV and DirecTV Now, as well as SVOD services like HBO Now, Starz and Showtime.
ESPN+’s growth could help offset some of the subscriber losses that the ESPN linear networks have been experiencing for years now. But ESPN+ does not include access to the company’s linear channels.