Disney is set to increase the price of ESPN+ plans once again. As of August 23rd, a monthly subscription will go up by $3 to $10 (a jump of 43 percent), while the annual option will be $100, up from $70, as first reported by Variety.
That’s a significant price increase at a time when the prices of many goods and services are rising sharply. It’s a far bigger jump than the previous ESPN+ monthly plan increases of $1 in August 2020 and again last year. ESPN+ cost just $5 per month when it debuted in 2019 and, at least at the time, it was a killer deal.
“While it is a significant change to the price, it’s reflective of the increased scope, scale and value of ESPN+ 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,” an ESPN spokesperson told The Wrap. “I think you’ll also find, if you look across the sports streaming landscape, ESPN+ clearly remains the best value — in virtually all other sports streaming, you pay this price or more, and get less.”
For what it’s worth, rival sports streaming services DAZN and Bally Sports+ each cost $20 per month. ESPN+ includes PGA Tour Live, which cost $10 per month when it was a standalone service, and NHL’s Center Ice, which previously cost $25 per month. The platform also offers games from several major soccerleagues (though it’s losing MLS to Apple next year), the NFL, college football and other sports. It’s also home to ESPN original shows and docuseries, as well as various specials. As Bloomberg notes, in the first quarter of 2022, ESPN programming and production costs increased by 48 percent to $454 million.
At least for now, Disney does not plan to increase the price of the Disney Bundle. Along with ESPN+, that provides access to Disney+ and the ad-supported version of Hulu. The bundle costs $14 per month. Subscribing to all three services individually would add up to a monthly bill of $25 after the ESPN+ increase. In addition, there aren’t plans to increase the price of UFC pay-per-view events on ESPN+ at the minute either.