ESPN+ Review

9/10

Good

Price 9 out of 10

User Experience 7.5 out of 10

Compatibility 9.2 out of 10

New Shows 8 out of 10

When the cord cutting trend began, it meant living with on-demand options: cable and satellite were still pretty much your only legal paths to live TV. The rise of the skinny bundle has changed that, and has sparked a gold rush in a business space that didn’t exist just a few years ago.

The latest skinny bundle on the scene is ESPN+. How does it measure up? Here’s our complete ESPN+ review, including everything you need to know about the channels it offers, the features that set it apart, and the price you’ll pay if you sign up – plus, of course, my advice on whether or not you should!

Overview

Popular sports channel ESPN is now offering a streaming service to US customers which doesn’t require wired connections or contracts. Known as ESPN+, this service provides live streaming for sports fanatics. It can be watched on a range of platforms, and there’s no new app required, as you can use the old ESPN app and simply update it to allow it to host the service. If you don’t already have the app, it’s one simple download to get started. Then you can use the streaming platforms Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV or Roku. Alternatively, there’s a way to use ESPN+ with the video game consoles PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, as well as Android and iOS mobile devices. Finally, you can use the traditional route and load the streaming provider using an in-browser app on a Mac or Windows desktop device.

Shows and movies available

There are some live sports selections available to watch on ESPN+, such as college baseball and some tiers of soccer. There are live MLS matches, which makes this service enticing for soccer fans, and you can also watch NHL playoff game replays. On top of the native live sports content, users can add more subscriptions or view a large catalog of full match replays. In other words, customers can log into their MLB.TV or NHL.TV accounts using the ESPN app to watch content from those services.

When viewing content, it’s easy to find featured originals and live content, and scrolling down the menu will lead to further filtering, as you can find certain sports, leagues and original series. The service also makes recommendations on what to watch next based on your browsing history. The video quality is high, and on Apple TV, you can watch up to four live games at once.

Games available on ESPN+

ESPN+ does not have a live stream of any ESPN channel, but it does feature live sports. You can watch live sports broadcasts, including online exclusives. There are also streams of regional broadcasts, such as major league soccer matches. Furthermore, you can find NHL games, MLB games, MLS games, PGA tour tournaments and tennis matches, such as Wimbledon and US Open coverage. Beyond this base content, there is additional material such as analysis and recap shows, movies, sports documentary series and more. For example, you can watch the popular ESPN series 30 for 30, or well-known documentary series O.J: Made in America.

If you want to watch certain sports, there is a whole host of options available. For example, there are hundreds of soccer matches made available each year, such as the United Soccer League, UEFA Nations League, Italy’s Serie A and the English Football League. There are also sports which are popular outside the United Stats, such as the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, rugby matches from Major League Rugby, a wide range of Canadian Football League Games and cricket from New Zealand Cricket.

All Access

$4.99
A month

All Access

$49.99
A year ($4.17 a month)

Other content available on ESPN+

If you’re looking for more bang for your buck, you’ll find it with ESPN+. On top of the content previously mentioned, there are talk shows and analysis shows, which includes ESPN FC. There are old events on offer, such as Ali vs Frazer II and III. These are ideal for die-hard sports fans to get into and relive their favorite moments. If you want to watch highlight compilations and best-of mixes, these are available too, as ESPN show replays such as E:60 and SportsCenter are options on this platform. Here are some of the top ESPN shows:

SportsCenter

Otherwise known as the flagship program on ESPN, this daily sports news show covers various sports teams and athletes across the globe, plus highlights of sports from the day.

NBA on ESPN

Games from the National Basketball Association are shown on ESPN. These first started being televised in 1983, and they have been aired since the 2002-03 season.

ESPN Major League Baseball

First aired in April 1990, this show features Major League Baseball from the USA, including a roundup of results and highlights. It has received a nomination for a Sports Emmy for Outstanding Live Graphic Design.

First Take

This is a morning sports show which airs during weekdays and is hosted by Molly Qerim, Max Kellerman and Stephen A Smith. Regular contributors and guests are on the show, and content includes sports news, interviews with sports journalists and talks with athletes.

30 for 30

This highlights series was created as part of ESPN’s 30th anniversary celebration, and looks at the sports events which took place between 1979 and 2009. 30 films were made by some of the best directors and producers in Hollywood.

How to sign up for ESPN+

If you play fantasy sports or subscribe to ESPN’s premium content service – ESPN Insider – you can sign up for ESPN+ using your existing ESPN account. This way, all you have to do is go onto the app. If you haven’t used the ESPN app before, you will begin by choosing your favorite leagues and teams. This allows the service to select content best suited for you to watch and read. If you’re accessing ESPN+ on mobile, just tap the ‘play’ button to view a selection of live and on demand content.

How to cancel ESPN+

Customers who signed up for ESPN+ on a streaming device will be able to cancel the subscription using that device. Head into the device’s settings and head to the options relating to subscriptions. There, you will see a list of subscriptions and have the option to cancel your ESPN+ one. Alternatively, if you signed up for ESPN+ using an existing ESPN account, you can sign into your account on the ESPN site and head to the cancellation option on your account settings. The other option is to call up ESPN’s customer service department to gain assistance with cancelling your subscription.

Price, trials and subscription options

You can pay for ESPN+ on either a monthly or yearly basis. It offers a similar price to other niche streaming services such as Shudder or CBS All Access, being priced at $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year. If you get the year-long subscription, this pans out to equate to $4.17 a month. This price point will be a good bargain for fans of MLS, and there is also an option to gain a month-long trial, so you can try the streaming service for free. If you don’t want to continue the service after a few weeks, you can cancel before the trial has expired and not pay anything.

Competitors

ESPN+ has a few competitors out there when it comes to niche streaming content, such as Shudder and CBS All Access. The competitors tend to win when it comes to providing a range of content, as common issues ESPN+ subscribers have relate to the lack of live sports and broadcasts, with content being most beneficial for MLS fans. However, the movie content is appealing, as is the price point and the month-long free trial.

Summary

ESPN+ is seen by many sports fans as a useful add-on to their existing ESPN access, as it provides supplementary sports coverage. It’s easy to gain access to the service if you’re an existing ESPN customer, and the trial is an enticing length for new users to get started. The price is good for fans who want to watch as much sports content as possible, as well as replays and highlights. Overall, if this is the niche content you want, you’ll find it easy to access and competitively priced.

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