Service Launches to Offer Sports Fans Even More Games

ESPN and its new president James Pitaro look for a win from a new sports streaming service

Cord cutters, it probably won't be you.

The service will include specialty programming for sports like rugby and cricket, along with select Major League Baseball and NHL games, global sports and more - but no NFL games.

It has a few exclusives, too, including some episodes of the lauded ESPN documentary series "30 for 30" - plus that show's entire back catalog. The service will include other original content and shows like Detail, a basketball analysis show hosted by Kobe Bryant.

But all that pomp and circumstance comes with a couple of glaring caveats. However, it doesn't offer access to content on ESPN; this is a supplemental app, and won't include NFL or NBA games, but will include MLB and MLS.

ESPN is trying to pivot to cordcutter and cordnever demands after the company lost more than twelve million subscribers over the last few years.

The Disney-owned ESPN knows this. Rather than being a replacement for the main ESPN channel offered through cable/satellite networks, ESPN+ is meant to be an extension of the content being served there. The content is separated into proper sections, your teams are always highlighted, and the Watch section is there for all that ESPN shows across its line-up of channels. The mobile app also offers three tiers of video access, all powered by BAMTECH Media's best-in-class video platform: video clips and highlights for all users; "TV Everywhere Streaming" of live and on-demand content from ESPN's US linear and digital networks for pay TV subscribers; and ESPN+, for the direct-to-consumer streaming service's subscribers.

ESPN+ is already available on a number of platforms, including Android, Chromecast, Fire TV, iOS, Apple TV, and on the web. The app will also have a built-in DVR function so fans can record sporting events to watch later.

So is there enough in this add-on to make it worth the extra cash you'd spend in addition to your cable bill?

The new ESPN App delivers a unique experience to every fan, while also enabling meaningful curation and presentation from ESPN's unmatched storytellers, journalists and content creators. Like the Canadian Football League, minor league soccer from the United Kingdom, and college sports featuring teams and sports that ESPN doesn't already run on its existing TV networks and digital services.

Whether you pay for ESPN+ will ultimately boil down to how much time you have to watch everything it offers, and whether you're the kind of person who loves the stuff that's not already playing in prime time.

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