It looks like inflation is finally hitting streaming services. Disney is increasing the price of its ESPN sports streaming service ESPN Plus by 43 percent starting in August 2022, according to Sports Business Journal. ESPN Plus will now cost $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year, up from the previous price of $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year.
While that will certainly be a shock to existing customers, there is some good news. If you lock in your yearly subscription right now, you can also lock in the current price of $69.99 a year. You may even be able to save a little more on your first couple of months with an ESPN Plus promo code). Also, while the cost of ESPN Plus is increasing — a lot — the prices for their Disney Bundles is not increasing.
In fact, this could even be a play by Disney to encourage customers to choose to the bundles rather than sign up for just ESPN Plus. For comparison, the Disney Bundle of Disney Plus/Hulu/ESPN Plus is $13.99 a month if you chose the ad-supported version of Hulu. That means for just $4 more, customers can get Disney+ and Hulu, which signing up for only ESPN Plus an unappealing option.
ESPN Plus: What is currently included
Currently, ESPN Plus allows customers to watch a variety of sports content, though it does lack some popular options. In terms of live sports, the major offerings are baseball (MLB), ice hockey (NHL) and soccer (MLS and select international leagues and tournaments). Another major draw is UFC, which offers customers access to exclusive UFC pay-per-view (PPV) events.
However, the live sports selection is constantly changing. For example, MLS is currently available but will be leaving the streaming service at the end of the season to head over to Apple. Personally, I have had issues as well. As someone who watches a lot of international soccer, I have found the streaming service to be more useful when it has a league with a team I support, but when ESPN Plus loses the rights to those leagues, I find myself not using the service.
Additionally, ESPN Plus is not the same as ESPN’s family of cable networks. That means that if you have an ESPN Plus subscription but no live TV service, you cannot watch the live games airing on any of the ESPN channels, including Monday Night Football or NBA games.
ESPN Plus: Bundle options
For those looking for a cheaper price on ESPN Plus, there are a couple of different options. First, if you lock in your yearly subscription right now, you can also lock in the current price of $69.99 a year. For UFC fans, there is also a bundle that allows new subscribers to get the UFC 277 PPV and a year of ESPN Plus for $99.98. There is no indication if the UFC bundle cost will change with the ESPN Plus price increase in August.
The other option for those interested in ESPN Plus is to get the Disney Bundle. This bundle includes Disney Plus, Hulu (with ads) and ESPN Plus for $13.99 a month. There is also a version of this bundle that upgrades customers to the ad-free version of Hulu for $19.99 a month.
Finally, for those looking to cut the cord, there is a Hulu with Live TV bundle as well. This bundle gets you Hulu with Live TV (including regular Hulu with ads), Disney Plus and ESPN Plus for $69.99 a month. This choice would get you all the ESPN cable networks, too.
Thinking about cutting the cord on cable? Check out our list of the best cable TV alternatives available right now. We also have a buying guide for the best streaming video services as well, in case you are looking for some non-sports content to watch.