If you want to survive in the post-cable world, you’re going to need a standalone streaming app – one that doesn’t require you to sign into your non-existent cable provider to watch content.
It’s a move that cable networks like CBS, ABC, NBC, The CW and HBO have already made and others – like Disney-owned ESPN have announced but not yet launched.
Starting on April 12, 2018, you’ll be able to stream ESPN via its brand-new standalone streaming app, ESPN+, without a cable subscription .
The service, which was announced by Disney CEO Bob Iger during an earnings call in November of last year and detailed in post on ESPN’s website today, will run you just $5 a month.
Iger’s and Disney’s hope here is that ESPN+, with its relatively cheap price tag, will be a solid supplement to the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime and HBO that offer TV shows and movies, but not much sports content.
How to watch ESPN without a cable subscription
Once you subscribe to ESPN+ on April 12, you’ll have access to the vast majority of ESPN’s broadcast content, including access to live coverage of games and events from MLB, NHL, MLS, college sports, boxing, PGA golf and tennis plus ESPN originals and on-demand content. It’s the most robust offering we’ve seen in a sports streaming package, well, ever.
Disney and ESPN have yet to announce which platforms will get the service, but considering that its WatchESPN app spanned nearly every conceivable Smart TV platform, streaming video player and mobile operating system, there’s little doubt ESPN+ will be available anywhere and everywhere you currently watch streaming content.
This bodes extremely well for Disney and ESPN which hasn’t always had luck with cord-cutting audience. Disney was late on the uptick while Netflix and Hulu were gaining subscribers, and while Disney has announced its own standalone service for its in-house animated offerings, it’s yet to tell us how much it’s going to cost or when it’s coming out.
Considering that the amount of over-the-top-only subscribers has tripled since 2013 to roughly 14.1 million U.S. households (11% of the U.S. population), now is as good of a time as any to jump on the cable cutting movement.