Disney To Launch $5 Monthly ESPN+ Streaming Service On April 12

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Disney today announced that ESPN+, the network's direct-to-consumer streaming service, is launching on April 12 and will be priced at $4.99 per month.

ESPN+ will be powered by BAMTech and will include live sports, original content and a library of on-demand programming.

"ESPN was built on a belief in innovation and the powerful connection between sports and a remarkable array of fans", said James Pitaro, who recently succeeded John Skipper as ESPN president.

Dubbed ESPN+, the subscription service will feature live sporting events, original shows and on-demand programming.

ESPN+ is Disney's first direct-to-customer service, which could mean that company wants to see how this does before rolling out a Disney subscription-based streaming in 2019. That will kick off with the Amir Khan vs. Phil Lo Greco fight in Liverpool, England, which will be held on April 21.

Notably, however, recent editions of "SportsCenter" and broad coverage of many US professional sports won't be available via the service at launch. For example, ESPN+ will feature an Major League Baseball and NHL game each day during the regular season, totaling more than 180 games for each sport. The service will ensure that there will "more games than ever before", according to the news release.

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ESPN+ will be an integrated part of a completely redesigned and reimagined ESPN App that will be the premier all-in-one digital sports platform for fans.

While this does sound as though you'll now have to pay to access the content you were probably watching on ESPN3 with a cable login that you already pay for, the service does appear to be offering an expanded slate of exclusive programming.

NHL - One free game per day (again local blackouts apply) with the NHL.TV package available for purchase. When the 2018-19 hockey season begins next fall, you'll also be able to tack on NHL.TV for an extra fee. In theory, the ESPN app then becomes one-stop shopping for your sports streaming. TNT owns a majority of National Basketball Association games.

Get The Latest Sports Tech News In Your Inbox! Fans of Olympic sports will also get hundreds of wrestling, swimming and diving, gymnastics, and ice hockey events from a variety of conference partners nationwide exclusively on ESPN+.

- Rugby and Cricket: Rugby matches from Sanzaar and Major League Rugby as well as cricket matches in New Zealand and Ireland.