Disney is raising the monthly or yearly fees for ESPN Plus, one of three subscription-based streaming services it offers in the United States, in a move that demonstrates how much the media business is relying on direct-to-consumer channels for fresh revenue.
The cost of an ESPN Plus subscription will increase to $6.99 per month and $69.99 per year on August 13, up from $5.99 per month and $59.99 per year. On Monday, Disney will notify customers of the information.
Last year, the firm increased the monthly subscription fee for new ESPN Plus users from $4.99 to $5.99.
The pricing for a combination of all of Disney’s U.S. services, including Hulu and Disney Plus, remains the same, as do the prices for the UFC pay-per-view fights available on the program. The actual charge of the group subscription is $13.99, which is 30% less than the price of individual memberships to all three services.
The increase comes after ESPN announced a slew of sports rights deals that ask for a considerable number of additional and archive programming to be made available on the company’s streaming service. According to a new agreement with the National Hockey League, 75 games will be exclusively available on ESPN Plus.
In addition, as part of a deal between ESPN and the All-England Lawn Tennis Club for rights to the famous Wimbledon tournament, ESPN Plus will live-stream all of the action on all of the courts throughout the tournament and will be the only channel to show full replays of all games. Films, vintage matches, highlight presentations, and press conferences are among the archival materials made available by the Club. After August, ESPN Plus will become a display for La Liga soccer exclusively, and PGA Tour Live will begin next season.
The move indicates that Disney is anxious to persuade more people to subscribe to its bundle, resulting in more subscribers for all three services and increased penetration into consumers’ homes’ streaming outlets. ESPN Plus has about 13.8 million customers, according to Disney.