ESPN+ includes more than a dozen live sports, including professional hockey, college football, UFC, soccer, lacrosse and golf. This fall, the service will broadcast an exclusive NFL game. It also features original docuseries such as “Man In The Arena: Tom Brady” and the “Places” franchise executive produced by Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions.
But expenses have been growing. Programming and production costs at the ESPN+ unit jumped 48%, to $454 million, in the quarter that ended in April. And Disney said its direct-to-consumer business, which includes Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, lost $887 million in the period.
The 43% price hike is so large, and ESPN is such a well-known, iconic brand, that the decision may add to a growing sense among consumers that prices are spiraling out of control.
Yet even after the increase, ESPN+ remains more affordable than many other sports-focused streaming services. NBA League Pass, for example, costs $14.99 a month, while MLB.tv charges $24.99 a month.