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ESPN Plus: Everything you need to know

More and more sports fans are finding ESPN Plus to be an essential part of a sports streaming package.

Jun 13, 2020, 8:06 pm*

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John-Michael Bond 

John-Michael Bond

  • ESPN+ is a sports streaming platform featuring live games, the network’s 30 for 30 documentary series, and an archive of its original programming. It’s also the exclusive home of UFC.
  • ESPN Plus costs $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year. It’s also part of a bundle with Hulu and Disney+ starting at $12.99 a month.
  • While you can’t watch ESPN or ESPN2 from ESPN Plus, the service is the exclusive home to a number of out-of-market college basketball, soccer, baseball, and hockey games.
  • ESPN+ subscribers also can access shows offering expert analysis and insights, and can read exclusive content on the ESPN website.
  • You can watch ESPN+ directly via the ESPN website or its mobile app, though it also streams can stream via Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick, and Google Chromecast to your TV screen.

ESPN+ launched in April 2018, and has since become a more and more essential part of the sports streaming landscape. While it features much of the original programming that explains the how and why of sports, it’s also accumulating more and more live games and matches from around the world.

ESPN Plus: 2020 cost, shows, devices, and how to sign up

 


 

How much is ESPN Plus?

ESPN+ is just $4.99 a month, or if you want to save a little money over time, you can do an annual subscription for $49.99 to cover the whole year.

There’s also another option which, depending on how you look at it, takes ESPN Plus’s cost down to almost nothing. It’s a bundle which brings Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+ together for as low as $12.99 a month. Disney+ brings both time-tested and new content for households with kids, and Hulu offers a massive library of shows and movies.

While there’s no free trial period, you’ll be able to instantly access the platform once you go through the sign-in process.

Monthly$5.99
Annually$49.99
ESPN+ bundled
with Disney+
and Hulu
$12.99


 

 

What’s on ESPN+?

ESPN+ is a platform for live sports as well as an archive for its original shows and its insightful documentaries. If you have cable, you can also access ESPN and ESPN2 programming through the platform, provided you sign in to your cable subscriber online. You can also get a digital version of its popular SportsCenter show, rounding up sports news from around the planet.

It’s not a substitute for ESPN or ESPN2; you will need a live TV streaming service for those channels if you’re wanting to catch Monday Night Football, top college football matchups, or NBA action.

ESPN+ functions as an extension of ESPN’s website and its mobile app. Online, you’ll find it in the top-right corner of the navigation bar (seen below). When you’re logged in, all of ESPN+’s various features and original series will be unlocked for your viewing pleasure.

On ESPN’s mobile app, programs and livestreams that are exclusive to ESPN+ are noted by the ESPN+ logo—the E+ on a yellow background.

However, it’s a must if you’re a fan of Major League Baseball, soccer, hockey, or college sports. Subscribers get access to top sports leagues like MLB, NHL, MLS, and USL, as well as college sports from over 20 U.S. collegiate conferences, the FA Cup competition for English soccer (or, at they prefer, football), hundreds of boxing matches, UFC fights, PGA golf, Grand Slam Tennis, and cricket. That adds up to thousands of hours of live sports for less than a pint at your local bar a month. 

 


 

30 for 30

Perhaps the true jewel in the ESPN+ crown is the massive collection of 30 for 30 documentaries included with your subscription. Each of these feature-length films focuses on a different story from the annals of sports history, shedding light on scandals and inspirational stories in equal measure. From The Legend of Jimmy the Greek to Fantastic Lies‘ exposè of the Duke Lacrosse case, 30 for 30 set the standard for sports documentaries.

ESPN 30 for 30 menu
ESPN

Best of all, ESPN+ offers exclusive films, like The Last Days of Knight, which focuses on controversial basketball coaching legend Bobby Knight. Your subscription also includes the complete five-part OJ: Made in America series produced under the 30 for 30 banner. As anyone who binged 30 for 30 when it was briefly on Netflix will tell you, this content is worth the price of ESPN+ on its own.

If you missed the recent, excellent The Last Dance documentary series on the Michael Jordan-era Chicago Bulls, it is available and binge-able on ESPN Plus.

 


 

ESPN+ streaming devices

You can stream ESPN+ via Roku players and TVGoogle Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and Fire Tablet, Apple TV, Oculus Go, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Samsung smart TVs, and iOS and Android devices.

 


 

ESPN+ multiple screens

One ESPN+ subscription allows for access on up to three screens at a time.

 


 

Is ESPN+ worth it?

For $4.99, ESPN+ gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access to live sports and sports history. It’s worth subscribing for a few months just to catch up on 30 for 30, but viewers who take the time to explore the other original programming will find just as much compelling content. Plus, you’ll get an ad-free experience on the main ESPN website (and access to insider content) as an added bonus.

While the lack of NBA and NFL live games is frustrating, the sheer number of games and events streaming on the service each month softens the blow. If you’re a soccer, baseball, or hockey fan, on the other hand, it’s become essential for following those sports beyond the teams in your local market or whoever gets featured on a national broadcast.

If you’re an MLS fan, for example, you know how crucial it is to have ESPN Plus. In a typical season, the bulk of the Saturday afternoon and Saturday night games—which make up most of the schedule—are viewable solely through ESPN Plus, picking up local market feeds and broadcasting them globally.

While ESPN+ won’t replace ESPN and ESPN2, it provides a compelling alternative for sports fans who don’t want to pay for a cable package, or an essential supplement to your complement of streaming sports channels.

 


 

How to sign up for ESPN+

It’s simple to sign up for ESPN+, especially if you already have an ESPN website account.

  1. Go to the ESPN+ page, and choose “Get ESPN+” (or choose the Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ bundle option, which will take you Disney Plus’s sign up page).
  2. If you have your ESPN+ account, log in with that; if not, you’ll be asked to create one. (There was once a Facebook login option, but that’s no longer available.)
  3. Enter your payment info; you have the option of billing it to a credit card or Paypal.
  4. Approve the purchase by clicking the “Buy ESPN+” button.
Monthly$5.99
Annually$49.99
ESPN+ bundled
with Disney+
and Hulu
$12.99


Sports Channel and Streaming Service Guides

ESPN+ESPNESPN2
ESPN3ESPN DeportesESPNews
ESPNUFanatizFS1
FS2Fox DeportesACC Network
BeIn SportsBig Ten NetworkCBS Sports Network
DAZNFubo Sports NetworkGolf Channel
Longhorn NetworkMAVTVMLB Network
MotorTrendMountain West NetworkNBA TV
NFL NetworkNFL RedZoneNHL Network
Olympic ChannelOutside TVPac-12 Networks
PeacockRAI ItaliaSEC Network
StadiumTennis ChannelTUDN
UniMasUnivisionWWE

Live TV Service Guides

AT&T TV NOW CBS All AccessFubo TV
Hulu with Live TVPhiloPluto TV
Sling TVVidgoYouTube TV

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*First Published: Jun 27, 2018, 6:22 am