ESPN+ is now live and it's the first digital streaming service from Disney as it looks to become a major player in the online video streaming arena. Along with the launch of this subscription service, a new ESPN is here with a pretty dramatic redesign.
The ESPN app with ESPN+ is available on the Amazon Fire TV, Apple iPhone and iPads, Apple TV, Android smartphones, Android TV, and Chromecast. ESPN insists that's not true and that these are events it has never had the ideal platform for. The basic fact to consider is that a subscription to ESPN+, which will cost you $5 a month, won't give you ESPN - in fact, you will gain access to programmings that are not on ESPN. That means that if you're, say, a Yankees fan living in NY, you won't be able to watch your team on ESPN+ due to the blackouts. It may not be the sports streaming service you've been waiting for.More news: Investors Buy Shares of Delta Air Lines (DAL) on Weakness
Programing includes one live Major League Baseball game each day during the regular season, starting with the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants on Thursday.
Another way of putting it: If you go check out ESPN's refreshed app*, which includes an option to pay for ESPN+, you'll see lots of promotions for ESPN programs that aren't live sports, like a new Bobby Knight documentary and a new basketball analysis show "written, produced and hosted" by Kobe Bryant. You will be able to view ESPN documentaries, and an original National Basketball Association show called Detail that will be written and hosted by Kobe Bryant.More news: Comey compares president to a 'mob boss' in new book
In the beginning, the biggest challenge that ESPN+ will face is convincing people that it's not just some paid mishmash of stuff that ESPN finds unworthy of its core, traditional channels. The latter includes fans of cricket, rugby, Canadian football or Ivy League sports. Last summer, the company ended a deal to distribute its movies on Netflix and announced it will be creating a separate streaming service with exclusive rights for Disney animated and live-action movies, including Star Wars content.
"The company doesn't think ESPN+ will put a real dent in ESPN's ongoing subscriber losses", wrote Recode reporter Peter Kafka. Subscribe before April 18th and the free trial is expanded to 30 days.More news: Adidas executive James Gatto handed more criminal counts in college basketball probe