Anybody who watches sports has probably seen a commercial pushing ESPN’s paid streaming service ESPN +. When it was first announced a number of outlets touted it as a cord-cutters option for ESPN as though it was simply an internet-delivered version of ESPN available without signing up for any sort of package or bundle.
And It is. Sort of.
What ESPN + Is And Isn’t
ESPN + is an Internet-based portal to ESPN content, that for the most part would not appear on ESPN’s major cable channels. Users are not able to see the exact same content that would appear on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN U or the major college conference networks. Users also will not find NBA basketball on the service.
What you can find is a number of other live sports options including regular season MLB baseball games, college football from a number of smaller college conferences (Non-power 5 conferences), Soccer, Tennis, MMA and even the Canadian Football League. Other sports include NHL, MLS, Series A, FA Cup and Boxing.
A very prominent feature of the service is the inclusion of every ESPN 30 for 30 film, which is a treasure trove of content for sports fans. The films come from a variety of producers and directors and explore sports history and culture through the eyes of those who participated in the most important and influential moments of sports history from the biggest upsets in college football to the rise and fall of the greatest athletes of all time. One fun study for college basketball fans is to watch the story Survive and Advance, which chronicles NC State’s 1983 run to the NCAA Men’s Basketball title and follow it up with the Phi Slama Jama film. Watching the two films gives interested fans an amazing and well-rounded perspective on the game that made March Madness what it is today. Want your kids to better understand how scary Aids was in the 1980s and 90’s? Watch The Announcement and see how things went down when Magic Johnson shocked the sports world. You will laugh cry and cheer all over again.
Can ESPN + replace my cable?
Well, it depends on what kind of sports you like. If your main interests are big-time college football and basketball with a heavy dose of the NFL and NBA then it is going to be very disappointing. On the other hand, if you Enjoy Hockey and baseball the $4.99 a month service could seem like a gift from above. There is certainly a lot of content out there and it is packaged up nicely with both live feeds and on-demand options. It is a very strong option for an overall sports junky who wants to have more access to sports that do not get the mainstream treatment that big-time football and basketball typically do and one of the only national platforms where you will find Hockey games, which is typically relegated to regional sports networks (RSNs) and the truncated offerings on NBC.
Image is taken from a screenshot of ESPN.com