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ESPN+ Upsetting Paying Subscribers With Pre-Roll Ads

Stephanie Sengwe

ESPN+ customers have expressed major frustration due to the fact that the service has been showing pre-roll ads. According to The Verge, the service’s customers started to see a host of ads before selected programming starting Oct. 1.

When ESPN+ first launched in 2018, one of their main selling points was that subscribers wouldn’t be pestered with commercials. Though the service always showcased ads before live events, their $4.99 subscription fee was meant to offer premium service with no commercials for all other programming. This isn’t the case, however, as pre-roll ads are showing up for customers who paid as well.

A source with knowledge of the matter told The Verge that the commercials were added in order to increase ad revenue, but Disney, which owns ESPN, denied this to be the case. “ESPN+ has always had advertising, including in live sports streams,” the Disney representative said in a statement. “We recently adapted the advertising experience and ESPN+ subscribers now also see targeted pre-roll ads in video clips across the ESPN digital environment.”

ESPN+ will also be part of Disney’s $12.99 bundle which also includes Hulu (ad-supported) and Disney+.

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