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Our ESPN+ review for 2020: Is it worth it?

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Allconnect

Feb 4, 2020 — 4 min read

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ProsConsVerdict
✔ Low monthly price

✔ Streams live sporting events

✔ Bundle with Disney+ and Hulu available
✘ Ad interruptions

✘ Missing most major sporting events

✘ No regular ESPN cable content
ESPN+ provides access to thousands of live sporting events, but they’re probably not the ones you want the most.


ESPN+ is a video streaming service that caters to sports-addicted cord cutters. Since its launch in April 2018, more than 3.5 million subscribers have joined. This up-and-coming service live-streams sporting events and provides round-the-clock stats at a very reasonable price. It gives you access to live-streamed boxing, cricket, MLB, NHL, tennis and soccer action, as well as a selection of on-demand content not available with an ESPN cable subscription.

Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks, including the lack of regular ESPN programming and the high cost of some pay-per-view events. You’ll also have to sit through commercials when watching live or on-demand content.

Starting price: $4.99/mo.

  • On-demand and live TV package available

  • Exclusive live sports and original content

Get to know the ESPN+ plan

ESPN+ offers tons of content on the go, and its bargain price makes it appealing to budget-conscious sports fans. Here’s a breakdown of some of the features you might want to consider:

ESPN+
Monthly price$5/mo.
Password sharingNo
Offline downloadsYes
Simultaneous streams3
Free trialNo
Original programming availableYes

ESPN+ overview

Content

ESPN+ carries footage of several sports, including PGA Tour Golf, MLB, NHL, Top Rank Boxing action and more. It has Grand Slam tennis action, including coverage of the Australian Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open matches. A wide variety of NCAA college sports, including basketball, football, lacrosse and soccer are also available. 

If you’ve got an MLB.tv or NHL.tv subscription, you can use the app to watch games from around the nation — otherwise, you’re limited to one MLB and one NHL game per day. The service is fast becoming the go-to streamer for soccer fans, with Bundesliga and MLS coverage. You can also catch cricket and rugby matches if that’s your cup of sporting tea. 

In addition to live sporting events, ESPN+ also has a library with 39 original shows, including titles like Peyton’s Place, Sneaker Center and Why We Fight. Programming is available in both English and Spanish. There’s even a daily highlight reel for you SportsCenter fans out there.

Value

ESPN+ only costs $5/mo., but subscribers have the option of paying for an entire year in advance for a $10 discount. The ESPN+ with Disney+ and Hulu bundle costs $13/mo. and provides access to sporting content and original shows as well as Marvel and Pixar productions. You’ll save $60/year by purchasing a bundle instead of each service separately.

From time to time, ESPN+ offers discounts on pay-per-view broadcasts. The service doesn’t provide a free trial period. But, you can cancel your subscription at any time.

User experience

The ESPN+ app is intuitively laid out and there aren’t any surprises when it comes to navigation. You can manage your account through the app and stream on up to five devices at the same time. If you’re interested in purchasing an MLB.tv or NHL.tv subscription, you can do that through the app as well.

Chromecast and Apple AirPlay cast content directly from phones to properly configured TVs, making it possible to view live sports action on full-size screens. ESPN+ also works with every major streaming device and smart TV, including Roku and Amazon’s Fire TV Stick. 

You can search or browse your way to new content. Enter a few bits of information, hit search and the app’s predictive tool will present you with tailored recommendations. The home page prominently displays new shows, specials, programming and events in an easy-to-sift through format.

The app’s push notification feature automatically forwards news and stats directly to your device. Just identify your favorite teams to stay updated with news and stats when you’re on the go.

Because the ESPN+ app is housed in the ESPN app, you can watch both ESPN and ESPN+ programming in the same place if you’ve paid for both services.  

Drawbacks

The service’s biggest drawback is its lack of ESPN cable content. ESPN+ is not a replacement for ESPN cable channels. You won’t be able watch ESPN cable broadcasts with just an ESPN+ subscription. This bears repeating — you’ll need both an ESPN and an ESPN+ subscription to watch all the sports giant has to offer.

The price of some pay-per-view content is also an issue. Even though ESPN is the sole owner of all UFC content, subscribers still have to pay around $60 per match.

All ESPN+ live content comes with ads. You’ll also have to sit through a few commercials before most on-demand content gets started.

Finally, this is not the best service for frequent travelers. ESPN+ is only accessible in the U.S. If you’re headed overseas, you won’t have access to programming.

The bottom line

ESPN+ lets users stream major sporting events and provides access to on-demand shows, analysis and original programming for the fantastic price of $5/mo. The sheer diversity of coverage is one of this service’s main selling points. If you’re looking for live cricket, college sports, MLB, NBL, soccer or tennis coverage, you’re in the right place.

Since the ESPN+ app is located within the ESPN app, you’ll be able to watch thousands of hours of sports right in one location with a subscription to both services. On its own, ESPN+ provides access to thousands of live sporting events as well as news, analysis and original shows. If ESPN+ has coverage of the sports you watch the most, it’s more than worth the $5/mo. price tag.