Last updated on Feb 26, 2020

ESPN+ Review

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ESPN+

Pros

  • Access to live events
  • Exclusive sports commentary
  • Part of the Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ bundle

Cons

  • Abridged version of ESPN
  • Live coverage doesn’t include NBA and NFL
Similar Products

How We Reviewed ESPN+

20 hours researched

12 articles analyzed

8 services compared

ESPN Plus is a streaming service launched in 2018 by the popular sports broadcasting network, ESPN. It’s a scaled-back version of ESPN that provides live sports, exclusive commentary, series, and premium articles. It’s important to note that the streaming service doesn’t cover live NBA or NFL games. The live coverage ESPN+ offers includes select events from college sports, Grand Slam Tennis, MLB, MLS, NHL, PGA golf, Top Rank Boxing, UEFA Nations League, and United Soccer League. You won’t be able to stream “SportsCenter,” but the app does offer series exclusive to ESPN+ and access to full episodes of ESPN’s “30 for 30” docuseries.

ESPN+ at a Glance

Package
Price
Free Trial
Simultaneous streams
Streaming quality
ESPN+
4.99/mo.
None
5
HD, up to 60 FPS

How We Evaluated ESPN+

With the increased demand for video streaming services focusing on sports coverage, finding one that offers the games you’re looking for can prove difficult. That’s because leagues like the NBA and NFL have existing contracts with local and national broadcasting networks. Due to the rigid nature of live broadcasting, many streaming services are only capable of providing replays of games or limited coverage by way of commentary and highlights.

The right sports streaming service for you really depends on your personal preferences. If you’re looking to stream live NFL games, you’ll be hard-pressed to find them on an all-encompassing app like ESPN Plus when the NFL has its own streaming service. Instead, most streaming services provide select games throughout various sports markets, which works for those who enjoy all-things sports.

Considering these factors, we evaluated ESPN Plus’s streaming service on the games and matches it has access to, its functionality in terms of quality, and exclusive content.

ESPN+ vs. Other Video Streaming Services

ESPN+
fubo TV
YouTube TV
CBS All Access
Price
$4.99/mo.
$54.99/mo.
$49.99/mo.
$5.99/mo.
Free trial length
N/A
7 days
7 days
7 days
Simultaneous streams
5
2
3
2
Sports channels
Live streams of college sports, MLB, MLS, NHL, PGA Tour, international sports like Canadian Football League, various European soccer leagues
CBS, FOX, Golf Channel, NBA TV, NBC, NFL Network, TBS, TNT, beIN Sports, Fox Deportes, GOL TV, TUDN, RSNs
CBS Sports Network, ESPN channels, FS1, FS2, Golf Channel, MLB Network, NBA TV, Olympic Channel, Tennis Channel
Live streams including live in-market NFL games, NCAA basketball games, and select PGA Tour events
DVR storage
None
30 hours
Unlimited
None
On-demand content
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

Key ESPN+ Considerations

Control your experience

When considering how to get ESPN+, the process is straightforward; simply visit the website, download the app, or create an account from a supported device. From there, you have complete control over the app and all of its features. ESPN+ enhances your overall experience with the ability to start, pause, and replay live events. These controls are hugely beneficial when watching a close game or if you’re also monitoring plays for your fantasy league. This is especially useful if you’re keeping track of the game during the workday and need to pause frequently. Image quality doesn’t change during playback — it maintains a high definition picture on both the big screen and mobile devices.

Exclusive ESPN+ content

Even though there are no ESPN Plus channels for streaming shows like “SportsCenter” and “SportsNation,” ESPN+ still provides content exclusive to its service, making it complementary to its parent channel. Its interface is divided between live games, matches, original series and premium articles, all of which are only available to those with an ESPN+ subscription. Shows include “Draft Academy,” an analysis of NFL prospects, and “Quest for the Stanley Cup,” a docuseries following NHL playoff contenders. Premium articles, previously known as ESPN Insider, provide insider coverage of your favorite teams and players written by industry professionals.

Picture-in-picture tool

Many video-on-demand streaming services geared towards sports, like NBA League Pass, provide some form of a mosaic view that allows you to watch more than one game at once. ESPN+ has a version of this feature, but rather than watching games simultaneously, with the picture-in-picture tool, you can shrink your live stream to a corner of your screen, freeing you up to check out other things like scores and news across the app.

The Bottom Line

ESPN+ may not be your answer to all-things sports, but it provides just enough sports-related content and access to live events to entice most sports fanatics. Fundamentally, this app complements ESPN, and it also diversifies the Disney+ bundle. However, if you’re looking for a one-stop solution to all your sports needs, then you may want to consider a more robust streaming service.