ESPN Plus is getting its third -- and biggest yet -- price increase on August 23, with the monthly bill for the standalone version shooting up by $3, a whopping 43%, to $9.99 a month, Disney said.
"While it is a significant change to the price, it’s reflective of the increased scope, scale and value of ESPN Plus as we continue to add significantly to both live sports and original programs and series, and it is part of an established plan to ensure ESPN+ is a profitable and strong long-term business," Disney said in a statement.
Among a litany of expanded league rights, game coverage and documentary specials offered to ESPN Plus users recently, Disney listed the addition of an exclusive NFL game each season to the DTC service, beginning in October. Disney also ticked off ESPN Plus' popular documentary series, which have included Man In The Arena: Tom Brady and the upcoming Derek Jeter-themed The Captain.
Disney reported a 62% year over year increase in ESPN Plus subscribers in the first quarter to 22.3 million, with 1 million users joining the direct-to-consumer service in the first three months of 2022.
According to a Disney rep, it's not accurate to say that the majority of ESPN Plus users receive the service through the bundle at this point, but specific data is hard to find.
The linear ESPN was in 76 million U.S. TV households as of the end of Disney's fiscal 2021 calendar year. But that base continues to erode. MoffettNathanson released projections this week suggesting that the U.S. pay TV industry will soon collectively report the loss of another 2.1 million subscribers for the second quarter. ■
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Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!