ESPN+ Review 2020: Everything you need to know

What is ESPN+?

ESPN+ is a subscription streaming service that offers live sporting events, classic games, studio shows, original programming, and premium written content. It’s a standalone service that provides different content than what you’ll find on ESPN or ESPN2. It requires its own subscription, even if you have ESPN. It is incredibly popular with sports fans for its easy accessibility, on-the-go capabilities, premium content, and affordable price.

How much does ESPN+ cost and what comes with it?

 ESPN+Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu Bundle
Monthly price$4.99/mo.$12.99/mo.
Number of TV shows and films1,000+ sports events, 35+ shows50,000+ titles, sports events
Offline downloadsYesYes
Original contentYesYes
Streaming qualityHDHD
Live streamingYesYes

ESPN+ provides a broader range of sports for its monthly rate than other sports subscription services. CBS Sports and Fox Sports do not even have exclusive online offerings. But NBC Sports Gold charges for each sport it offers on its service. This includes $9.99/mo. for PGA TOUR Live; $3.99/mo. for the Philly Pass, featuring the Eagles, Sixers, Flyers, and Phillies; $4.99/mo. for TrackPass; $9.99/yr. for Pro Motocross Pass, Premier Lacrosse League Pass, or Supercross Pass; $54.99/yr. for Cycling Pass; and $174.99/yr. for America’s Cup Pass.

What’s included in ESPN+?

Among the live events you can watch on ESPN+ are baseball, college football, hockey, golf, soccer, and more. It’s also home to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) boxing and is the only way to watch UFC’s exclusive pay-per-view events. 

The ESPN+ archives contain a wide range of sports. In addition to the ones already mentioned, you’ll find auto racing, basketball, cricket, lacrosse, rugby, tennis, the WWE, and more.

You can also watch ESPN Originals, the entire ESPN 30 for 30 library, studio shows, and more. Additionally, you’ll have exclusive access to premium articles on ESPN’s website.

ESPN+ also comes as part of the Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu bundle for only $12.99/mo. That saves you $6/mo. compared to what you’d pay if you purchased each service separately. In addition to all of the ESPN+ programming, you’ll be able to watch the Disney catalog and more than 80,000 episodes of popular TV shows and movies.

What’s not included in ESPN+?

Since ESPN+ is separate from ESPN and ESPN2, you won’t be able to watch any of the live games broadcast on those networks. There are no NFL games on ESPN+. While you can watch some MLB and NBA games, you won’t be able to watch all of them. It also does not include some of the network’s popular shows like SportsCenter or Around the Horn.

ESPN+ interface

The content for ESPN+ is shown through a series of thumbnails divided into main sections such as Live, Top Picks, Browse by Archives, Upcoming, Latest Series & Shows, 30 for 30 Spotlight, UFC Fight Night Replays, Conor McGregor, Browse by Series, Browse by Shows, and more. You can also look at the daily schedule for live programming, upcoming programming, and replays.

In addition to the thumbnails, the menu bar at the top of the home page divides the site by Featured, Originals, Browse, Schedule & Replays, Articles, Tools, and Support & FAQs. Through the Originals tab, you’ll find ESPN’s original content, such as the 30 for 30 series, E60, and SC Featured, along with series such as Peyton’s Places, Bettor Days, Our Time, Details, and more.

ESPN+ supported devices

It’s easy to get started with ESPN+. Sign in or create an account with ESPN, either through its app or website. From there, you can subscribe to ESPN+ and start watching content immediately.

You can enjoy ESPN Plus on all major devices, including your smartphone, tablet, or TV. You can even watch directly from a web browser. To view using a smart device, download the regular ESPN app (found in the Apple Store, Google Play, or your TV’s app store) and sign in using your ESPN+ login information. 

ESPN+ works with the following devices: 

  • Android Phone, TV, Tablet
  • Apple TV
  • Chromecast
  • Fire TV, Fire Tablet
  • iPhone, iPad
  • Oculus Go
  • Playstation 4, Playstation 5
  •  Roku
  • Samsung Smart TV
  •  Xbox One

What to watch on ESPN+

So what is ESPN+, and what exactly does it offer? In short, it’s a sports lover’s dream. When you sign on, you’ll find a wide array of content: 

  • Archival library
  • Live streaming sporting events
  • Original programming
  • UFC and PPV events
  • Written articles

ESPN+’s archival library is impressive. It alone makes the $5.99/mo. price tag worth it. You’ll get access to ESPN Plus’s on-demand archives, including its entire 30 for 30 series. With more than 100 documentaries to choose from in that series alone, you’ll be sure to find something that interests you. 

ESPN+ is the place to go for live sporting events. Fans of college basketball, football, and lacrosse will find plenty of live-action to view. ESPN+ also broadcasts exclusive Major League Baseball (MLB), Major League Soccer (MLS), and National Hockey League (NHL) games that you won’t be able to watch anywhere else. You can also catch select boxing, international soccer, PGA golf, tennis, cricket, and rugby. 

In addition to live sporting events, ESPN+ offers original programming. There are all kinds of shows here, from athlete-hosted talk shows to documentary series. Watch your favorite athlete’s show, like Peyton’s Places, where Peyton Manning explores the history of the NFL. Or Ronda Rousey’s Why We Fight, where she highlights up-and-coming fighters. Or, you can watch serialized shows like NBA Rooks, which follows first-year rookies through the ups and downs of their transition to the pros. 

ESPN+ is also home to UFC action and broadcasts several exclusive PPV events. You can watch UFC Fight Nights, archives of the greatest UFC fights, and many UFC-related original shows. With ESPN+, you’ll never miss out on your favorite fighter. 

Back in the day, ESPN+ was entirely article-based. It was ESPN’s attempt to deliver behind-the-paywall content for sports fans looking for more in-depth articles. Despite the service transitioning into the world of live streaming and on-demand video, it still has a host of top sportswriters producing premium articles. Subscribing to ESPN+ gets you access to the entire library of articles, plus daily stories, so you can always stay on top of the latest news. 

To be clear, ESPN+ doesn’t provide access to any traditional ESPN coverage. For example, there are no NFL or NBA games. If you want to watch any events broadcast on ESPN, you’ll need to look at cable alternatives like Hulu + Live TV or Sling TV

ESPN+ features

ESPN+ technically doesn’t offer DVR, so you won’t be able to record live games. But you can watch on-demand programming whenever you’d like. 

ESPN Plus allows you to stream on up to 3 devices at once. The exception here is for PPV events, where you can only stream on 2 devices at a time. Those simultaneous streams must come from 1 user account, though. There’s no option to create separate user profiles. 

Unfortunately, there is no ESPN+ free trial. You’ll have to sign up for the service with its $5.99/mo.fee, but you can cancel at any time. 

The final cut

Despite not having an ESPN Plus free trial, at such an affordable price and with so much on-demand content, sports fans will definitely want to try try it. With the ESPN+ cost of $5.99/mo., you get exclusive access to tons of live sports. Plus, you can watch ESPN+ Originals, UFC fights, and PPV events you won’t find anywhere else. Not to mention the bonus premium articles you can read throughout the day. It’s easy to access the service, either on your TV, mobile device, or laptop. Now that you know what ESPN Plus is, it’s clear to see that no matter where you are or what you’re doing, you’ll always be able to find something sports-related to enjoy.