Live sports had a tough year in 2020, but ESPN+ keeps getting bigger. The Walt Disney Co. today announced that ESPN+ now has 12.1 million subscribers, up from 11.5 million in Q4 2020. That's in spite of sports mostly being shut down worldwide for a good chunk of the past year, including the UFC, whose pay-per-view events are exclusively streamed on ESPN+.
ESPN+ launched in April 2018 and reached its first million subscribers shortly thereafter. In the years since, it has grown with less fervor than its Hulu and Disney+ cousins, but still steadily upward. The service reached 10.3 million subscribers in the previous quarter announced in November 2020 and hit 11.5 million just a month later.
The service also has seen a few price hikes, most recently on Jan. 8, 2021, which was a bit of a leveler. Currently, a monthly ESPN+ subscription costs $5.99 a month, and annual subscriptions now cost $59.99 a year, essentially getting you a month for free. (You can still get the lower annual price of $49.99 until at least March 2, 2021.) UFC pay-per-view events also saw an increase on Jan. 8 and now cost $69.99 each — in addition to the ESPN+ subscription itself. And if you buy an ESPN+ subscription along with a UFC PPV package it'll now cost you $89.98.
Regardless, ESPN+ remains an excellent purchase if you care about sports (or teams) that don't regularly make their way onto prime-time television in the United States. That includes college football and basketball (as well as the NBA G-League), Australian Open tennis, the PGA Tour, the NHL, international soccer including Copa del Rey, the FA Cup, Serie A, Coppa Italia, the German Bundesliga, and the EFL Championship. And that's just for starters.
There also is a pretty healthy stable of original content on ESPN+ featuring folks you know. Peyton's Places remains a hit with the former NFL quarterback and future Hall of Fame. Stephen A. Smith does his thing with Stephen A's World, and there are more exclusive documentaries that give you a closer look inside some of your favorite teams and sports.
ESPN+ is available within the ESPN app on all platforms, including Android and iOS, Apple TV and Android TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV, on the web, and on various smart TV platforms.
Elsewhere, The Walt Disney Co. also announced new subscriber numbers for Disney+ — it's now at 94.9 million — and Hulu, which has 35.4 million total subs and 4 million subscribers to the Hulu Live TV service. (Hulu With Live TV shed around 100,000 subscribers.) Those services along with ESPN+ are available as part of a bundle that you can get for $12.99 a month (before the price increases to $13.99 month in March), essentially getting you those three services for the price of two.
Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for AndroidCentral.com and Mobile Nations, is the Dad part of Modern Dad, and is editor of WhatToWatch.com.
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