ESPN Plus gets more expensive starting Jan. 8

ESPN+ on a phone
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It soon will cost a little bit more to watch some of your favorite live sports on ESPN+. ESPN (on Jan. 4, 2020) has confirmed a previous Variety report that ESPN+ — which is the exclusive home to UFC pay-per-view events in addition to streaming countless other sports that simply don't fit on traditional TV — is set to increase its rates for UFC PPV as well as the annual subscription rate for EPSN+ itself, starting Jan. 8.

Here's how things would break down:

  • UFC pay-per-view events would go up $5 an event, from $84.99 to $69.99.
  • The PPV package that includes an ESPN+ subscription goes from $84.98 to $89.98.
  • New annual subscriptions to ESPN+ will increase $10 a year, from $49.99 to $59.99.
  • Variety notes that existing annual subscriptions would remain at $49.99 until at least March 2, 2021.

This isn't the first time we've seen price increases from ESPN+, which sports some 11.5 million subscribers as of December 2020.

The basic service itself increased its monthly rate from $4.99 to $5.99 in August 2020 but left the annual rate unchanged at $49.99. At the time ESPN noted that existing customers wouldn't see the monthly rate increase again until at least a year — until Aug. 12, 2021 — but also noted that it was "subject to change." 

And this will be the second time we've seen the UFC pay-per-view cost increase. The service began in 2018 at $59.99 a fight, then went up to $64.99 in early 2020.

And it's worth a reminder that the cost of the Disney+/Hulu/ESPN+ bundle — which gets you those three services for what essentially is the price of two — is going up by $1 a month to $13.99 a month in March 2021.

All that comes at the end of a calendar in year in which we saw entire league schedules thrown into chaos due to the global pandemic, postseasons canceled outright, and other general madness. But it doesn't change the fact that ESPN+ remains an excellent source of live sports that you otherwise can't find on traditional television in the United States. That's especially true for international soccer, with ESPN+ sporting the rights for the German Bundesliga, Italy's Serie A, and Spain's La Liga. There's also a massive amount of college basketball on tap, as well as cricket, boxing, MMA and pretty much anything else you can think up. 

ESPN+ also is home to a good stable of original content, such as NFL Primetime, Peyton's Places and more.

ESPN+ is available on pretty much every major streaming platform you've got, including iOS and Android, Roku and Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Android TV, gaming systems, smart TVs and in web browsers.

Phil Nickinson

Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for and Mobile Nations and is the Dad part of Modern Dad.