ESPN+ is ESPN’s most important product launch in years
The $4.99 streaming service launching today doesn't include many ESPN staples like Monday Night Football and Sunday Night Baseball, but it is ESPN's way of moving forward as viewers abandon cable, while evolving away from "outdated" channels like ESPN News and ESPN Classic. "The company has struggled to stem the continuing loss of subscribers to cord-cutting, and needs digital services to succeed to maintain the same level of vitality with the next generation of sports fans that it has with the current one," says Kevin Draper. "If successful, ESPN+ and the ESPN app could define the network in this era, just as SportsCenter did in the 1990s and early 2000s, becoming an essential hub for obsessive sports fans. If they aren’t, the company will have to continue to rely on what is likely to be a shrinking market for pay television."
- ESPN's Jemele Hill and Michael Smith reunite on Around the Horn
- ESPN had to reshoot its commentary on Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest due to the event's counting error
- LeBron James' ESPN special The Decision turns eight
- ESPN's superstar NBA reporter appears to go "rogue" in tipping NBA Draft picks