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ESPN+ Added 1.5 Million Subscribers in Q4 2022 to Reach to 24.3 Million Subscribers

David Satin

On Tuesday, Disney revealed as part of their Q4 2022 earnings report, that ESPN+ had reached 24.3 million total subscribers as of October 1, 2022, up 1.5 million from the 22.8 million that it had the previous quarter. That new subscriber total represents a year-over-year increase of 42% customers from the same period in 2021.

The other streaming platforms under the Disney corporate umbrella also reported their customer numbers Tuesday. Disney+ reported an increase of 12.1 million to 164.2 million users, and Hulu now has 47.2 million subscribers, up from 46.2 million last quarter. Disney streaming services have a combined 235.7 million users, which would put it ahead of Netflix, although many of those subscribers have the Disney Bundle, so there is some overlap.

ESPN+ was the first of the three Disney services to raise its prices last quarter. On Aug. 23, the service jumped 43% in price from $6.99 per month to $9.99 per month. However, customers can still sign up for two tiers of the Disney Bundle: Disney+ with no ads, Hulu and ESPN+ with ads for $13.99 per month (raising to $14.99 on Dec. 8); and Disney+ and Hulu with no ads, ESPN+ with ads for $19.99 per month (no price increase scheduled).

The quarter began with discussions generated by an activist investor that Disney should spin off ESPN. Disney officially put any speculation about the topic to rest in September by confirming that it would not sell ESPN, but the company is still exploring ways to launch ESPN as a standalone streaming service that would incorporate ESPN+’s content.

The streamer made several moves during the quarter to strengthen its live sports offerings even further. The platform added more college football, basketball, and other sports from the Big 12 Conference thanks to an extension of the rights agreement between the two entities which now runs through the end of the 2031 season. Even more Big 12 contests will come to ESPN+ as part of the new deal.

Disney also signed a rights extension with Formula 1 racing that will keep F1 on ESPN through at least the end of the 2025 season. The rights extension included an expansion of direct-to-consumer (DTC) rights, so there will be a bigger ESPN+ presence for F1 racing going forward.

ESPN+ has also become a big-time home of the NBA’s developmental league, the G League. Over 200 G-League games are scheduled to stream on ESPN+ during the 2022-23 season. That will include G League Ignite games, a team that features some of the top NBA draft prospects available, including Scoot Henderson, Efe Abogidi, Aubrey Dawkins, John Jenkins, and Pooh Jeter.

Speaking of the NBA, the league is partnering with ESPN+ to offer a “ManningCast”-style alternative stream of four games this season, hosted by Stephen A. Smith. ESPN has had quite a bit of success with alternate broadcasts following the “Monday Night Football” “ManningCasts, so it likely has high expectations for the new Stephen A. Smith experience. ESPN+ has also expanded its alternative broadcasts of NHL games this season.

All these additions have helped ESPN+ become a major force in sports streaming. The platform aired over 22,000 live events in 2021, a volume of available content that helped lead to the platform 53% year-over-year growth in the previous quarter, showing the viability of a sports-centric streaming platform.

ESPN+

ESPN+ is a live TV streaming service that gives access to thousands of live sporting events, original shows like Peyton’s Place, the entire library of 30 for 30, E:60, The Last Dance, as well exclusive written analysis from top ESPN insiders.

The service can be subscribed for $9.99 / month per month or annually for $99.99 / year.

You will get a daily out-of-market game from MLB, and every out-of-market NHL with NHL Power Play (previously NHL.TV). For NFL Fans, they have an exclusive NFL game, and simulcast select Monday Football games.

The service has some of the most attractive soccer coverage including Bundesliga, LaLiga, FA Cup, UEFA Nations League, EFL Championship, EFL Carabao Cup, Eredevise and more.

College sports fans will be able to watch thousands of games and events including football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, track & field, gymnastics, swimming & diving, lacrosse, wrestling, volleyball, golf, and more.

For boxing and UFC fans, the service offers Top Rank boxing and will be the home of 15 exclusive UFC events.

ESPN+ now includes exclusive insights from analysts like Mel Kiper and Todd McShay (which used to be part of ESPN Insider), as well as premium Fantasy Tools & PickCenter.

What it does not include is most live sports that air on ESPN and ESPN2.

To get access to those channels you have to subscribe to a live TV streaming service. We suggest reading our guide on How to Watch ESPN without Cable.

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