ESPN+ updating app with offline viewing for its 1M+ subscribers

ESPN+ is launching on Samsung smart TVs and the Oculus Go VR headset. (Disney/ESPN)

Disney’s ESPN+ app is growing its subscriber base while building in new features including offline viewing and compatibility for Samsung smart TVs and the Oculus Go VR headset.

“One of the most important focuses for ESPN+ has been innovating the experience for fans and making it easier for them to discover, subscribe and watch the great content,” said Michael Paull, president of Disney Streaming Services, in a statement. “With more than a million subscribers and growing, our recent updates bring fans a more personalized experience with advanced content recommendations and make the service more accessible with offline viewing in the mobile app and availability on new devices, including Samsung and Oculus.”

Disney’s Direct-To-Consumer & International segment is working on improving its ESPN+ app as it prepares to launch the Disney+ streaming app, which will likely use some of the same platform technology, later this year.

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ESPN+’s splashiest content are live sports including UFC fights and games from leagues including MLB and NHL. But the offline viewing sounds like it will be restricted to the service’s scripted and reality content. The company said ESPN+ subscribers will be able to watch the service’s original shows, series and documentaries even when they’re not connected to the internet.

ESPN+’s Oculus Go virtual reality app is built on the same core as the Android TV app and lets fans stream ESPN+ programming and ESPN’s “TV Everywhere” content in a virtual viewing lounge designed to replicate watching on a 180-inch screen.

ESPN+ is also making updates to increase personalization for users and make navigation easier. The company said right now personalization and recommendation features are focusing on on-demand programming, but in the future it will be updated to include live and upcoming programming.

The ESPN apps on iOS and Android are getting dedicated ESPN+ navigation buttons to provide more direct access to ESPN+ programming.