TV Answer Man, I really like ESPN+ because it has lots of variety although I wish it had the whole ESPN lineup. But I hear that the price is going up? Is that true? Do you know when it will happen? — Jamal, Fort Worth, Texas.
Jamal, ESPN+ is the sports network’s direct-to-consumer streaming service that offers live sports (MLB games, more than 1,000 NHL games per season, etc.) as well as select live studio shows (yes, not the entire ESPN lineup) and documentaries such as the complete and award-winning 30 For 30 series.
ESPN+’s price is now $6.99 a month, but is it going up?
The answer is yes and no. Let me explain.
If you subscribe separately to ESPN+, the price will increase from $6.99 a month to $9.99 a month on August 23. That’s a 43 percent increase which is significantly higher than even the nation’s highest inflation rate in four decades. (The annual rate will also increase from $69.99 to $99.99.)
However, if you subscribe to ESPN+ via the Disney bundle, which also includes Disney+ and Hulu’s Video on Demand service, the price will not go up. The bundle’s base price (Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu with ads) will remain at $13.99 a month while the bundle with Hulu without ads will stay at $19.99 a month.
It’s obvious what’s going on here. Disney wants more ESPN+ viewers to get the bundle. While the bundle will still cost $13.99 a month, which is $4 more than ESPN+ separately, you’ll get two more services. Disney hopes that consumers will see that as the greater value.
The irony here is that many analysts and journalists proclaimed that the bundle (as offered by cable and satellite providers) would die as streaming evolved. But it would appear that the bundle is simply transforming into a different version with the streaming industry shaping its offerings to encourage more people to get it.
Jamal, hope that makes sense. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann