ESPN said ESPN+, its soon-to-launch direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service, will carry hundreds of live soccer matches including more than 75 this month.
ESPN+ will also be carrying thousands of Ivy League events under a new 10-year deal with the academically prestigious college conference.
Launching April 12, ESPN+ costs $4.99 a month or $49.99 annually.
ESPN+’s soccer matches, from MLS, UEFA Nations League, United Soccer League, English Football League and international friendlies, will be supplemented by exclusive access to ESPN FC and ESPN’s World Cup series The Last Train to Russia.
ESPN+ subscribers will get the entire MSL Live out-of-market schedule of more than 250 games this season. ESPN+ will also serve as the local-market home for the Chicago Fire, carrying 23 Fire matches to fans in the windy city.
A deal with the Union of European Football Associations gives ESPN+ subscribers access to 100 live matches from the new UEFA Nations League Tournament,
Subscriber will also see popular English clubs including Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal as part of a deal with the English Football League.
Leading up to the World Cup, ESPN+ subscribers exclusively will be able to watch the 12-episode series The Last Train to Russia, in which ESPN international soccer reporter Martin Ainstein visits the 11 World Cup host cities.
ESPN’s Ivy League deal will put contests in more than 30 sports on ESPN+. At least 24 Ivy League games will appear on ESPN’s linear network each year including The Game between Harvard and Yale’s football teams. NBCUniversal networks had previously aired Ivy football.
“With this new agreement, we continue to provide fans with the most diverse content through all our networks and platforms, while also deepening our commitment to college sports,” said ESPN executive vice president of programming and scheduling Burke Magnus. “We are significantly enhancing our existing relationship with The Ivy League, providing the conference, its institutions, and fans the most comprehensive coverage of the league to date across ESPN’s networks and platforms, while also adding specific benefits that are made possible with the launch of ESPN+.”
ESPN+ is a partnership of ESPN with The Walt Disney Company Direct-to-Consumer and International group.
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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