ESPN+ continues to see strong growth, with the continued push of the The Disney Bundle. The streaming service added 1.1 million subscribers in Q3 for a total of 14.9 million. Over the last year, the service has increased its subscriber base by 75%, adding 6.4 million subscribers.
This is up from the 13.8 million subscribers announced last quarter, and 12.1 million subscribers as of January 2nd, 2021 (FY 2021 Q1).
A full-year subscription will go up to $69.99 a year, up $10 from the last annual price hike in January 2021. Both the price of UFC PPV fights and the Disney Bundle of $14.99 a month (which includes Disney+ and Hulu), will remain unchanged.
Word of the price hike came just a few months ahead of the service’s new deal with the NHL, which will include NHL.TV as part of the subscription. The new deal will see NHL.TV shuttered, with the entire out-of-market package included in the base ESPN+ subscription.
In addition, ESPN+ landed a larger role in Wimbledon as part of the new 12-year-agreement signed by ESPN and the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) that will keep the Championships exclusively on the networks of ESPN through 2035. The deal expands the role of ESPN+ and puts more content and emphasis on the streaming platform.
In recent weeks, ESPN has also picked up new streaming rights deals with several collegiate conferences, including the Big West Conference and the Big Sky Conference. College basketball and college football contests from the conferences will end up on ESPN+ as a result.
But the big collegiate sports elephant in the room has to do with ESPN’s role in the soon-to-be-expanded Southeastern Conference after Texas and Oklahoma join in 2025. The current SEC Network and Longhorn Network are both affiliated with ESPN. Exactly what form the streaming presence in the new SEC will take remains to be seen, but has been the source of much speculation.