Disney is emphasizing the plus sign in its sports streaming service, ESPN+. The corporation just hiked the price up for its ESPN+ users by more than 40%. The price increase comes as many Americans feel the effects of inflation, which is currently at a 41-year high.
According to reports, beginning Aug. 23, the House of Mouse plans to increase the streaming service price to $9.99 per month, or $99.99 per year.
Existing ESPN+ subscribers will get an official notification from the company starting Jul. 20.
ESPN+’s standalone service currently costs its subscribers $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year. The service is also available through a bundle with Disney+ and Hulu. The bundle is priced at $13.99 per month for Hulu with ads and $19.99 per month for Hulu sans ads.
However, this new price change won’t affect the bundle’s cost nor the $74.99 cost for Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-view events.
It also features more than 1,000 out-of-market National Hockey League games per season. Baseball fans can also get more than 180 Major League Baseball games per season. As for golf, they now have expanded rights to the Masters and the PGA Championship. There’s even something for tennis fans. The Wimbledon and the Australian Open are included on ESPN+.
Subscribers can also watch premiere domestic and international soccer, international cricket, original series, and studio shows. They also have access to the entire library of ESPN’s award-winning 30 for 30 films and hours of college sporting events from more than 20 conferences.
Disney’s new plans to offer ad tier for users
For those wondering, there’s a good reason for the price hike. Disney is getting ready to offer a cheaper, ad-supported subscription tier for its streaming service, Disney+. This comes after Netflix recently announced it would provide the same service in the future.
Disney will debut the new subscription tier in the U.S. in late 2022 and worldwide in 2023.
As of the end of the second quarter of this year, the company reported a total of 137.7 million paid Disney+ subscribers, 45.6 million paid Hulu subscribers, and 22.3 million paid ESPN+ subscribers.
As we mentioned, other streaming outlets, such as Netflix, are also searching for new ways to keep subscribers and cash flowing, as users now have a plethora of streaming services to choose from.
Earlier in the week, Netflix announced its new partnership with Microsoft to offer an ad-supported tier to its users.
Moreover, HBO Max also has an ad-supported tier that is in many cases cheaper to buy than the standard HBO package sold by cable and satellite companies.