In August, ESPN+ monthly pricing moves from $4.99 to $5.99. The annual price of $49.99 will remain unchanged. Current monthly subscribers can keep the $4.99 subscription fee for one year before being switched to $5.99.
ESPN+ launched in April 2018, with UFC live events, and an assortment of college games and lesser sports leagues. It had 2.2 million subscribers in March 2019, and grew to 7.9 million by March 2020, after Disney launched a $12.99-a-month bundle that included ESPN Plus, Hulu, and Disney Plus. The bundle price will not be affected by this ESPN+ price hike.
Disney’s executive chairman Bob Iger said last year that because the traditional ESPN network via linear pay TV was “still delivering a fair amount of profitability to ESPN,” making the pivot to a streaming-exclusive world was challenging. Further, pivoting to a streaming-exclusive strategy requires agreements with sports leagues which remain profitable on pay TV.