In a fairly sizable leap upwards, the monthly cost to subscribe to ESPN+ will jump to $9.99 in August.
That’s according to Variety’s Brian Steinberg. The $3 increase is a pretty sizable jump in the world of streaming services, which tend to creep upwards more incrementally. ESPN+ went up $1 last year, for example, from $5.99 to $6.99. It went from $4.99 to $5.99 in 2020. Other streaming services, like YouTube TV, have made bigger leaps in terms of pricing, but those have coincided with adding a sizable number of channels/options.
While ESPN+ has certainly added content to the platform over time, choosing now to make this move is certainly an interesting one, given overall inflation likely has many people looking for expenses to cut as it is.
Steinberg notes a key element of this, which is that the cost of the “Disney Bundle” of Disney+/ESPN+/Hulu won’t be increasing.
Starting August 23, 2022, the price of an ESPN+ subscription will rise to $9.99 per month, compared with the current rate of $6.99 per month, and the cost of an annual subscription will rise to $99.99, compared with the current rate of $69.99. Subscribers to ESPN+ are expected to be notified officially next week. The price of what is known as the “Disney Bundle,” a broader subscription that encompasses ESPN+, Disney+ and Hulu, will not change at present, nor will the current price tag for the UFC pay-per-view events ESPN shows.
That feels like a significant point. This move might be more designed to squeeze current ESPN+-only subscribers to considering the base Disney bundle, with that cost being just $14 per month.
$9.99 per month, though, is such a wildly steep increase that it’s hard to imagine the subscription count won’t take a hit. Clearly Disney and ESPN have a plan here, and some sort of data that shows this move will see enough subscribers retained to break even at worst (or push enough people to the full bundle that it will even out that way.)
But what a tough sell to consumers at this specific time.