The new ESPN Streaming Service, ESPN Plus, doesn’t have a launch date yet, but it is acquiring content. According to Bloomberg, Major League Soccer is ending its MLS Live streaming service, instead using ESPN Plus to offer those games.
ESPN Plus subscribers will be able to watch 250 out-of-market games each season. The MLS Live service previously cost fans $79 annually, whereas the new ESPN platform will be $60 per year. There is no additional cost for ESPN Plus subscribers to access the out-of-market MLS games. ESPN Plus will offer customers nearly 10,000 new sporting events each year including soccer, baseball, hockey, tennis and college sports.
Financial terms of the deal were not announced, but the arrangement will be separate from the MLS’ current TV deal with ESPN, Fox and Univision that runs through 2022, paying the league $720 million.
MLS would not say how many subscribers their streaming service had last year, only that the number was increasing. MLS senior vice president of media, Seth Bacon said MLS Live experienced “double-digit growth in the number of subscribers for that product for at least the past four seasons.”
ESPN Plus is not expected to launch before the start of the soccer season, which begins March 3rd. According to a Bloomberg source, games will be available for free at MLSsoccer.com until the new platform is available.