With live coverage of sporting events as well as relevant commentary and documentaries, ESPN+ provides sports fans with the perfect complementary service to add to their streaming plan. As mentioned in our ESPN+ review, it doesn’t exactly mirror the regular ESPN channel. But it provides additional content and programming that will complement your sports streaming experience.
So if you’re a diehard sports fan and you like what ESPN+ offers, you might want to find out more about its packages and pricing before you decide to subscribe to the service. Plus, you’ll want to know whether it offers a free trial to help you get a feel for what the streaming experience is like. This post gives you a complete breakdown of those details so you can make the right decision about ESPN+.
How much does ESPN+ cost?
ESPN+ currently has just one plan but also offers an annual subscription for the same, allowing you to save some money.
|Device compatibility||Android/iOS, desktop, smart TVs, smartphones and tablets|
|Simultaneous streams||Up to 3 devices|
|Add-on options available||UFC PPV|
ESPN+ packages and pricing
The sole ESPN+ subscription costs $5.99/mo. and gives you access to an exclusive sports archive containing thousands of events from FA Cup, MLB, MLS, NHL and Top Rank Boxing. You also get to watch UFC Fight Nights and Grand Slam tennis as well as college sports such as basketball, football and lacrosse.
ESPN+ also has a bunch of originals that feature top names in the industry, such as Alex Morgan, Ariel Helwani, Peyton Manning and Zion Williamson. This includes shows like Ariel & The Bad Guy, NBA Rooks, Peyton’s Places, Sneaker Center and The Boardroom. And don’t forget about the 30 for 30 library, which features revolutionary sports documentaries such as 42 to 1, Benji, Deion’s Double Play, Fantastic Lies and Sole Man.
If you want to save a few bucks, you can also get an annual subscription for $49.99/yr. So you’ll end up paying just about $4/mo. to access the ESPN+ content lineup. Aside from a few dollars in savings, the annual and monthly subscriptions are essentially the same and offer the same features as well as content library.
Alternatively, you also have the option to bundle your ESPN+ subscription with Hulu and Disney+ to save about 25%. At just $12.99/mo., this bundle might be just what you’re looking for as it gives you access to all three streaming services for a lower price. Besides the expansive collection of sports content on ESPN+, you’ll also get the entire Hulu streaming library combined with hundreds of animated classics, hit movies and originals on Disney+.
ESPN+ doesn’t offer much in terms of add-ons. And at the time of writing this post, UFC pay-per-view events are the only types of add-ons you can get with the service.
ESPN+ already provides viewers with extensive UFC coverage such as archives of classic fights, in-depth expert analysis, live Fight Nights and original shows. In addition to this, you can also access UFC 250 events as pay-per-view content.
Each event streams in high definition (HD) and costs $64.99 for existing subscribers, which is pretty steep, so you might want to use this option only for fights that you can’t afford to miss. And for those who purchase the event through ESPN+ within 15 days of the live airing, the service will also let you watch replays.
You get a slight discount when you buy UFC PPV along with a new ESPN+ subscription or an annual plan upgrade. Instead of paying around $115 for the two, you can get them for $84.98. But if you buy another UFC PPV event after this, you’ll have to pay the usual rate of $64.99 for it.
ESPN+ pricing compared
Being a standalone streaming service dedicated to sports, ESPN+ costs much less than more comprehensive cable alternatives such as fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV and Sling TV. Cost-wise, Sling TV comes closest to ESPN+, with plans starting from $30/mo.
The Sling Orange plan costs $30/mo. and has a decent mix of news and entertainment content while also carrying regular ESPN programming. Aside from that, it doesn’t have a lot of other sports programming. But the Sling Orange + Blue plan, which costs $45/mo., comes with a combination of both ESPN programming and other sports channels such as FOX Sports, NBCSN, NBC Sports and NFL Network.
A Hulu + Live TV subscription will set you back around $54.99/mo. That’s well over the cost of the ESPN+ annual plan, but it also comes with 65+ live channels and the entire Hulu streaming library. Hulu + Live TV has a healthy combination of news and entertainment channels, as well as live sports programming. Besides a wide range of ESPN programming, you also get sports channels such as CBS Sports Network, FOX Sports and NBCSN.
With fuboTV, you get an even more expansive collection of sports programming, including CBS Sports Network, FOX Soccer Plus, FOX Sports, Golf Channel, Olympic Channel, MSG, NBCSN and NFL Network. And you can get the most basic plan for the same price as Hulu + Live TV ($54.99/mo.) But it also lacks some critical programming, such as ESPN.
Keep in mind that even though Hulu Live TV and Sling TV carry regular ESPN programming, they won’t have the same content as ESPN+. So it could be perfect as a complementary package if you have one of these options as a primary live TV streaming service.
Among standalone sports streaming services such as NBA League Pass and NFL Game Pass, ESPN+ holds its own as one of the most affordable options. Unlike ESPN+, these services typically have a season-based subscription model and sometimes offer the option to pay this off in monthly installments. And they provide content dedicated to one specific sport or league, while ESPN+ covers different disciplines.
NBA League Pass lets you watch out-of-market NBA games that you won’t get on cable due to regional restrictions. The cost of the service tends to fluctuate depending on whether you get it before, during or offseason.
Annual subscriptions start at $59.99/yr. for a single team pass if you get it offseason. That’s a few bucks more than the annual ESPN+ subscription, and you only get to watch the games for one team. And if you want to watch all the teams in action, you’ll need League Pass, which costs $99.99/yr. even if you get it offseason.
NFL Game Pass costs about the same per season and is much more expensive than an annual subscription to ESPN+. It typically costs $99.99/yr., but the rates may drop if you get it later on in the season. The good thing is that NFL Game Pass offers serious discounts and sometimes offers off-season streaming completely free of charge.
Sign-up for an ESPN+ free trial
While ESPN+ initially used to offer free trials of the service during its initial launch, it has since discontinued this option. That means anyone who wants to get a feel for what the streaming experience is like and whether they enjoy its content offering will have to pay the $5.99/mo. fee upfront. While $5.99 isn’t a substantial amount, some might not like the idea of paying for something without first verifying its value and quality.
Additionally, it would be unwise to directly sign up for an annual plan without trying out the service first because you might not even like what it offers. And you’ll end up spending $49.99 for something that you don’t really use. So consider trying out the monthly plan first for $5.99/mo. to see just what you can get out of it before you decide to keep investing in the service.
Our hot take
ESPN+ may be one of the most affordable standalone sports streaming services out there. But since its content offering is limited to sports, it can’t act as a replacement for cable. Plus, it doesn’t have the regular ESPN programming that you get with other live TV streaming services. So rather than viewing it as a replacement to your cable subscription, you should only use it as an additional service to complement your primary streaming package.
Ideally, you should consider getting the Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu bundle if you want to save money on streaming services. This gives you access to an expansive library of content in all kinds of genres and may be a great option, especially for households with children. Even if you don’t want to go for this bundle, you can still save some money by getting an annual subscription to ESPN+ instead.
And even though ESPN+ doesn’t offer a free trial, the monthly subscription costs just $5.99 so make sure you give it a try to find out whether it’s the right choice for you. If you like what it has to offer, you could have it as an extra package alongside your primary live TV subscription of fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV or Sling TV.