The House of Mouse is raising the price of streaming sports through ESPN+ by more than 40% at a time when inflation is at a 41-year-high.
FOX Business has confirmed The Walt Disney Company plans to increase the price of the standalone service to $9.99 per month, or $99.99 per year, starting Aug. 23. Existing ESPN+ subscribers will get official notification starting July 20.
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ESPN+'s standalone service currently costs $6.99 per month, or $69.99 per year. It is also available through a bundle with Disney+ and Hulu. The bundle costs $13.99 per month for Hulu with ads and $19.99 per month for Hulu without ads.
The change will not impact the price of the bundle nor the $74.99 cost for Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-view events.
ESPN+ offers more than 22,000 live sporting events per year.
In addition to exclusive UFC events, its programming includes NFL PrimeTime, PGA Tour Live, more than 75 exclusive and 1,000 out of market National Hockey League games per season, more than 180 Major League Baseball games per season and expanded rights to the Masters, the PGA Championship, Wimbledon and the Australian Open.
Viewers can also watch top domestic and international soccer, international cricket, original series and studio shows, the entire library of ESPN’s award-winning 30 for 30 films and thousands of college sporting events from more than 20 conferences.
The price hike for ESPN+ comes as the entertainment giant is preparing to offer a cheaper, ad-supported subscription tier for Disney+. The new subscription tier will launch in the U.S. in late 2022 and internationally in 2023.
Disney has set a goal to reach between 230 million and 260 million Disney+ subscribers by fiscal year 2024.
As of the end of the second quarter of 2022, Disney reported a total of 137.7 million paid Disney+ subscribers, 45.6 million paid Hulu subscribers and 22.3 million paid ESPN+ subscribers.