ESPN is raising the price of its standalone ESPN Plus streaming service from $6.99 per month to $9.99 per month, a nearly 43 percent increase, beginning August 23rd, as reported earlier by Sports Business Journal. The price of the annual plan is also going up from $69.99 to $99.99.
If you get your streaming ESPN service as a part of the Disney bundle, however, which packages Disney Plus, ESPN Plus, and ad-supported Hulu for $13.99 per month (including Hulu without ads takes the price to $19.99 per month), that will remain at the same price as before. The service’s website and support pages haven’t been updated to reflect the increase yet, but a statement sent over by Disney spokesperson Paul Melvin indicates subscribers will be notified next week.
The price change reflects how even as moving between services and packages becomes more flexible as we move beyond the traditional cable bundle, access isn’t as cheap as it once seemed. ESPN Plus already raised its price (twice) last year, and now there’s an even steeper increase. ESPN points out that content deals it signs increasingly include ESPN Plus components along with the access to editorial content on its website that subscribers get.
Still, if your dream is unfettered access to standalone sports streaming, then it’s both closer than it has ever been and also much further away as Disney’s pricing encourages taking the bundle — even if that’s not what you really want.