ESPN+ hits one million subscribers in just five months

Kevin Mayer hails 'important milestone' for sports OTT service.

by Sam Carp

ESPN+ hits one million subscribers in just five months

The Walt Disney Company has revealed that its ESPN+ sports streaming service has racked up one million paid subscribers in just five months.

ESPN+ was launched back in April as part of the sports broadcasting giant’s major shift into the over-the-top (OTT) sector following Disney’s acquisition of live streaming specialist BAMTech, which is now powering ESPN+.

The US-based service is available for US$4.99 per month or US$49.99 annually, offering subscribers live sports, original content and a range of on-demand programming.

The platform already boasts an impressive line-up of live sports, including Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Soccer (MLS) and college sports.

In May, ESPN finalised a US$1.5 billion rights deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to bring 15 fights each year exclusively to ESPN+ from January. The streaming service also recently became the exclusive home in the US of Italian soccer’s Serie A and Coppa Italia, as well as England’s FA Cup domestic knockout competition.     

"Reaching one million paid subscribers is an important milestone for any video subscription service, but reaching this benchmark in such a short amount of time is an incredible testament to the teams from DTCI and ESPN who have worked tirelessly to bring this product to market and continually improve it since our April launch," said Kevin Mayer, chairman of direct-to-consumer and international at The Walt Disney Company.

"We're thrilled so many sports fans have quickly come to love the service. The future is bright and we believe growth will continue as we add features, distribution partners and more exclusive content in the coming months."