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Fans score with ESPN+, debuting today with launch of new ESPN App

With today’s launch of the new ESPN App with ESPN+, sports fans are now able to subscribe to the service for just $4.99 a month. The big question: What will fans get from ESPN+, exactly?

For the answer, Front Row asked ESPN Executive Vice President, Content, Connor Schell, and ESPN Executive Vice President, Programming, Burke Magnus, to fill us in.

Which sports fans and audiences do you hope to serve with ESPN+?
BM: For live sports, we see two distinct audiences. The first is the niche sports fan – those who have had limited to no access to the sports they love. This includes international sports like cricket, rugby, soccer and tennis. The other is the underserved team fan – those who have had limited to no access to the teams they care most about. We see this audience span across all ages and sports, with a particular affinity towards an alma mater whose sports might not otherwise have been shown on television. At $4.99/month, we believe it’s a great value for fans.

CS: For original content, we see an opportunity to serve the most avid sports fans even further. This audience already has a strong relationship with ESPN, and with ESPN+, we will be able to offer even more than what we currently have on our existing networks. This includes exclusive studio shows and series that will feature more original storytelling and more in-depth insights and analysis across not only the major professional and college sports, but also passionate fans of sports like soccer, among others. More details on what’s in development will be shared in the coming weeks.

Which live sports and original content differentiate ESPN+ the most from what we offer on our existing networks?
BM: Hockey fans will be pleased to know that ESPN+ will include a “Game of the Day” from the NHL during the regular season – more than 180 hockey games annually. We also see boxing as a valuable asset to ESPN+, as it is in line with a PPV-like experience that this audience is accustomed to. And by securing deals for the the out-of-market MLS LIVE package as well as the local market Chicago Fire matches and Ivy League digital offering prior to launch, we are sending a clear message to the industry that ESPN+ will be a valuable and viable direct-to-consumer platform.

CS: We believe the most attractive on-demand content offering is exclusive access to the entire ESPN Films and 30 for 30 library, available only on ESPN+. It is a major selling point for both avid and casual fans of our unmatched storytelling, and we intend to leverage that. But we’re not stopping there. We will also reward subscribers with exclusive premieres – like last week’s announcement that our next 30 for 30, “The Last Days of Knight,” will be the first film to appear only on ESPN+ – and access to new documentaries, docu-series and original studio shows.

Kevin Ota contributed to this post.