ESPN launches its streaming service ESPN+


"I, personally, am incredibly excited about the potential", new ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro told reporters at the company's CT headquarters.

Back in February, we told you that Disney would launch its first paid streamer, ESPN+, in the spring.

ESPN+ does not include Monday Night Football or National Basketball Association games that are shown on ESPN's TV channels.

ESPN+ subscribers will receive app and streaming experience enhancements such as HD streaming; functionality that allows users to pause, rewind, restart and even multitask while streaming; limited advertising throughout the entire ESPN App or website; as well as the ability to also subscribe to additional premium streaming services like MLB.TV (and NHL.TV, beginning in 2018-19), all within the ESPN app environment.

After a weeklong free trial, ESPN+ is $4.99/month or $49.99 annually.

ESPN is getting in on the streaming wars.

Dubbed ESPN+, the subscription-only, direct-to-consumer service will cost $4.99 per month and launch alongside a redesigned ESPN digital app. Subscribers will gain access to live sporting events beyond those available on ESPN or ESPN2, such as Wimbledon matches or additional Major League Baseball games, as well as the full slate of the network's "30 for 30" documentary series and other original programming. However, if you're a traditional ESPN subscriber, you can log in with your pay TV credentials and get access to live and on-demand content.

Besides "Detail", other original content available on ESPN+ on launch day includes "The Last Days of Knight", a 30 for 30 documentary about former IN coach Bobby Knight's fall from grace.

While Disney and ESPN have been previewing ESPN+ for a while now, and released numerous content details last week, they also brought reporters to ESPN's Bristol, Connecticut headquarters to lay out their vision and show off the app.

Pitaro said that ESPN's relationship with cable providers remains "a critical part of our business and will continue to be so". There's also Kobe Bryant's new basketball analysis show "Detail", which premieres just in time for the NBA playoffs.

Engadget is calling ESPN+ "the sports-streaming cord cutters have been waiting for", asserting that it gives fans "tremendous value".

ESPN CTO Aaron LaBerge highlighted the app's personalization capabilities, like a homescreen that's tailored to the sports and teams you follow.

You can also watch ESPN+ on a number of different devices, including iPhone and iPad, Android phone and tablet, Amazon Fire TV and Tablet, Apple TV and Chromecast.