No, this is not the channel from the early 2000’s that we are reviewing 10 years too late. This is the new ESPN+ streaming service that was just launched less than two weeks ago.
ESPN+ is a $4.99 a month service that gives you exclusive access to certain sporting events. These sports include baseball, boxing, soccer, college athletics, lacrosse, golf, tennis, rugby and cricket.
It also includes games and events from leagues such as the MLB, PGA, NCAA and many more.
ESPN+ has additional exclusive content just for ESPN+ subscribers such as shows about the upcoming NFL Draft, 30 For 30 specials and old Indy 500 races just to name a few.
The service is available for the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac and Apple TV. The way how users get it (after signing up) is through the official ESPN app in the iOS and tvOS App Store, along via a browser on the Mac.
Users can get a week-long free trial of the service through the iOS App Store, but in my experience, you can get two weeks for free when signing up for a free trial in the tvOS App Store.
One thing that is nice about the service is that it broadcasts at least one non-ESPN network MLB baseball game. This means that the service could pick up a game from FOX Sports Midwest one night and then the Boston Red Sox game on NESN the following day.
The games that do have the ESPN set of graphics are for ESPN+ subscribers only. You’ll know this by seeing the ESPN+ logo in the top-left corner of the game or event you are watching.
Streaming and video quality is great, which is what I would expect from a company and network like ESPN.
One of the issues that I do see is whether or not the service covers enough to make it worth that $4.99 per month? Although they are a sports network, I don’t see them getting many viewers with cricket or rugby games. Worst of all, you won’t even be able to stream NFL Monday Night Football games this fall from it.
For $4.99 a month, the service is not that bad though. It offers a little bit more than what you would see on the ESPN networks or ESPN3 (website for streaming ESPN network live content) and at a cheap price.
It is great that the network did go in with a cheap starting price since the service is still in the beginning stages and will need time to grow. The price makes it affordable for the average sports fan. It’s nearly the price of a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
Overall, I’m giving ESPN+ 3.5/4 stars. The only reason it is losing half a star is that I question some of its live programming. The on-demand content is there and is something that no other streaming service is offering at the moment.
Rating: 3.5/4 stars