ESPN Plus is a streaming service that I have mentioned quite a lot of times when it comes to recommending a streaming service to watch various live events and the streaming service has gone under a good amount of changes since its release.
The overall streaming service is quite a lot more expensive than what it used to be, and there are also rumors that Disney might sell the overall asset of ESPN because it is not gaining the parent company a lot of profit.
So, in this article I will be reviewing ESPN Plus, and in the end, give you my final verdict on whether you should get the service or not.
Availability of ESPN Plus
So, currently, if you are in the States, only then you will be able to access ESPN Plus and everything that is on offer on its platform. Other than that, ESPN Plus is not available to use anywhere worldwide.
This is a shame because there are a number of great things to watch on ESPN Plus, whether it be regarding its overall live content, or even some of its Original content that is about different sports, respectively.
Along with this, if you are planning to access ESPN Plus with a VPN, then I have discussed below on its overall working conditions.
As far as the availability of the application of ESPN Plus, well, you can access it from the main ESPN application that is available on different devices, such as iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS devices.
To access its application from streaming devices and Smart TVs, you will have to download the ESPN Plus app that is available on their respective app store.
ESPN Plus Price & Free Trial
ESPN Plus is a service that has continuously increased its price every year or so. When the service was launched it started with the price of $5.99/month and now, if you are looking to get ESPN Plus, then you will have to shell out $10.99/month!
That is quite a price increase, but compared to Disney’s other streaming service, the overall price hike is still a little minimal, still quite a lot more than what you used to pay for its service barely 5 years ago.
As far as free trial is concerned, well, in that department you will find no luck because ESPN Plus is not available for any sorts of free trial. So, you either get the service or you don’t get the service, at all.
So, in terms of pricing, ESPN Plus is now on par with the cost of other streaming services, and this is probably not the final price, as well, so you can expect some more price hikes in the coming years.
Pros and Cons of ESPN Plus
Let’s discuss some of the pros and cons of ESPN Plus
|✅Good number of live sports events, especially for college sports
✅Access to ESPN’s great archives
✅Has Premium features such as Offline download support
|❌It does not include all of ESPN’s programs
❌Not able to live stream any NFL or NBA games
❌Not available worldwide
So, as far as Pros and Cons are concerned, there are definitely some great points to love about ESPN Plus, especially if you are a fan of sports-related content and are into watching college sporting events, as well. You will get a lot of content regarding it, and more, as well.
Then, as a streaming service also, ESPN Plus does work pretty good and the overall service is fairly reliable without a lot lag issue, or anything regarding it, and you also get to offline download some of ESPN’s content for offline watching.
However, ESPN Plus is not a direct streaming service of ESPN, and you don’t get access to all the live sporting events that ESPN has access to, along with the overall programming on ESPN.
I will get to this point in detail, next. Along with this, the service is also currently only available in the US and nowhere else, which is a bit of a bummer because ESPN, as a whole, is available in many different countries, and so is Disney Plus.
So, Disney can look into branching it out to different countries, as well.
Specific functionalities of ESPN Plus
Let’s discuss in detail some of ESPN Plus’s special functionalities.
Difference between ESPN and ESPN Plus
So, before you get very excited about ESPN Plus as a service, expecting everything from ESPN on its streaming service, you should know the main difference between the two services.
ESPN Plus is a streaming service that actually includes Original content regarding sports, and this includes a number of web series, documentaries, and more. Along with this, you are also able to watch some live content, such as UFC Combat events, NHL Games, and even some college-sports programs, as well.
That is mostly what you are getting on ESPN Plus.
So, everything else that you see on ESPN, such as NBA, MLB, NHL live games, even NCAA college basketball and football games or NFL Monday Night Football, you won’t be seeing any of this on ESPN Plus.
Along with all of this, all of ESPN’s hit shows, such as SportsCenter and even Pardon the Interruption, are all only available on the ESPN channel, which you can only get from having a cable tv connection.
So, it is not a direct transfer of content, which you see on something like NBC Universal’s streaming service, Peacock, that includes most of NBC’s live channels, including NBC Sports, as well, without any extra cost.
As far as the overall UI is concerned for ESPN Plus’s website, in that department, the application does deliver because you get a fairly good UI on its platform, regardless of its being available on whichever device you choose to access it on.
When you first come on the platform, on the top-most section you will find the option of Features, ESPN +, Originals, Browse.
Underneath it all, the overall layout of its content is quite similar to other streaming services, and you will find all your titles in a rectangular box that also shows some of the upcoming live shows to which you are eligible to see.
The interface on mobile and computing devices are also quite nice, and its layout is quite similar to what you experience on its TV form, and you will be able to access it all from the main ESPN application.
Catalogue of Content
So, ESPN Plus does offer a good amount of mixture of content on its platform, and they are mostly divided into ESPN Plus Original content, Live Sports, and some of ESPNs shows, as well.
Currently, in terms of its live sports category, you are able to watch out-of-market NHL and MLB games, and even a lot of college sporting events, without any additional costs. Of course, you are also able to watch all of their highlights and replays on ESPN Plus, as well.
As I mentioned above, you are not able to watch any of the live sporting events of NHL and NFL games that are covered live on ESPN’s main channels, but it is speculated that ESPN Plus will also get streaming rights for those games, and that would also be a nice library to boast for ESPN Plus.
ESPN Plus does offer a lot of Original content on its platform, in the form of docu-series, including the famous 30 for 30 series, and it also the home for many ESPNs archive programs, as well.
So, there is definitely a good amount of things to watch on ESPN Plus, as well, it is just not all that is offered on the main channels of ESPN.
ESPN Plus and VPNs
As I have mentioned above, ESPN Plus is currently only available in the US and from the looks of it, the service will only be available over there for the foreseeable future.
So, if you are planning on accessing the service from anywhere else in the world, you would be tempted to try out a VPN service.
However, from the VPN service that I tried to access ESPN Plus, it showed me that I am not able to do so because the service is not currently available to use, in short, it blocked the VPN Connection.
You can try it with some other VPN services, and you might get lucky with streaming it, but the overall streaming experience wouldn’t be as seamless as streaming the service from within the States.
So, overall, ESPN Plus and VPNs are not a good combination.
Accessibility and Parental Control
As far as accessibility is concerned, ESPN Plus is able to provide you with some settings for its caption tools. So, you are able to change the overall colour of the captions, and even change some minor background and foreground opacity, as well.
Which is pretty common, and you easily see this in streaming services, such as Prime Video, and many more, as well, so there is nothing truly groundbreaking about the overall accessibility features on ESPN Plus.
ESPN Plus also does not include any Parental Control on its programing and platform, which is alright because, unlike other streaming services, such as Netflix and others that do contain programs that are a bit explicit, there is nothing like that on ESPN Plus’s library.
In fact, ESPN Plus doesn’t even rate its content, and so, it will be of no use to include a setting of Parental control. Plus, the overall streaming service is targeted more towards adults, and most of the kids aren’t that interested in watching docu-series about a particular sporting event.
Another great thing about ESPN Plus is that it hosts exclusive Fight Nights and Pay Per view events on its platform, the biggest events in the UFC events.
And even if you are a cable tv subscriber, you would need ESPN Plus to watch these events live, because ESPN Plus is the official streaming partner of these events.
This is a great thing, and if you are a big UFC fan, then you would have to get this service, for watching it. All Fight Nights events are covered in the ESPN’s subscription.
However, the events are not included in ESPN Plus’s subscription, and you have to pay an additional $79.99/event! Which is, I think, sort of given, with the overall naming of ‘Pay-per-view’.
That is a lot of money and quite expensive for all the right reasons.
Still, after 16 days of the event, the replays and highlights of the UFC PPV event are available to the subscribers of ESPN Plus. So, you can watch UFC content on ESPN Plus, but it comes with an additional price!
Let’s discuss some of the frequently asked questions regarding ESPN Plus.
Is it worth getting ESPN Plus?
So, the question that everyone has in their minds is the same, right? Is the service worth it? Well, I would say it is. There are definitely things to love about ESPN Plus, and also things that aren’t so great about it.
If you are someone who loves to watch UFC Fights, then you have to get ESPN Plus, because it is one of the only streaming services worldwide that have the rights of streaming the fights, even though you have to pay a separate fee for it.
Along with this, the overall service does offer different varieties of sporting events, and Original content, as well. So, I would say, that it is a good option, but not the best.
What is the point of having ESPN+?
Another question that a lot of people might end up asking, after actually figuring out what all is offered on ESPN Plus when compared to ESPN’s channels.
A lot of trade analysts think of ESPN Plus as a place where you get content that doesn’t really fit in the ESPN channel’s schedule.
So, you are able to watch some Original docu-series content, some out-of-market live events and UFC fights, as well.
It is not a service that involves everything there is regarding on ESPN, and it definitely feels like a service that ESPN would like to build more, for taking things in the world of streaming as more and more people cancel their cable connection.
Is ESPN a good streaming service?
ESPN is considered as the holy grail of everything regarding sports, so it is definitely a great service when it comes to sports. ESPN Plus, on the other hand, is a subset of everything that is not offered on the main channels of ESPN.
ESPN Plus does offer a good amount of premium features on its streaming service, and the overall experience of using the service as a streaming service is fairly good, as well.
So, yes, as a streaming service, ESPN Plus is pretty good, with room to improve.
Final Verdict and Review
So, what is my final verdict on ESPN Plus? Well, like a lot of people I also thought that it was a direct streaming service of everything that is offered by ESPN on its channels, and that is not the case.
ESPN Plus definitely has to work more on its overall brand image because the overall content that is offered on it, while it is good, is not pretty great. There definitely needs to be more popular live sporting events that need to be on its platform, in order to be considered as a Sports streaming service.
UFC Fighting is a big draw for its services, but if you want to watch the PPV events, you can watch them without subscribing to its service, as well.
Plus, the overall price hike of ESPN Plus isn’t justified a lot, since the overall content on its platform still remains the same, and it does not offer other popular features that you might expect on other streaming services that have the same price range.
Still, as I mentioned above, the service is a good enough try, but if you want to max out on your overall value for ESPN Plus, then I would suggest getting the Disney Plus bundle pack that includes Disney Plus, Hulu and ESPN Plus and it starts at $14.99/month, which is just $4 Dollars more.
Then, ESPN Plus can act as a side streaming service, and you can also enjoy a lot more other content, as well.
Well, there you have it. An article reviewing ESPN Plus, as a whole. It is a good streaming service that is a bit too expensive, in my opinion, and it needs to include more live tv programs from its main channels, in order to make users more tempted towards shifting from cable to streaming.
They can take a page out of NBC’s book of how they brought in a good amount of their live tv channels on Peacock’s platform.
Still, as always, these have been my thoughts regarding this topic. What about you? Do you agree with my review? Or do you think that ESPN Plus is actually a pretty great service for streaming live sports?
Whatever your thoughts are, do let us know about them in the comments down below!