This week it was announced that ESPN+ hit 2 million subscribers in just nine months. A lot has been made about ESPN+ and how it is reaching out to cord cutting but the truth is cable subscribers have as much to do with ESPN+’s growth.
ESPN+ is a streaming service that targets cable subscribers and cord cutters. ESPN+ is made up of content you can’t get on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, etc. ESPN has been promoting the service to hardcore sports fans regardless of whether they have a cable subscription or are cord cutters.
Many have argued that ESPN+ is not a true cord cutting option because it does not replace anything you would get with a cable subscription. Instead, ESPN+ is more about giving hardcore sports fans additional sporting events on top of their live TV streaming subscription or cable subscription. Many have suggested most of ESPN+ growth could be coming from cable subscribers yet there is no way to know.
What ESPN+’s growth shows us is that sports fans are still willing to pay to get their favorite teams. Sports still is one of the few reasons people want to see something live. In the age of DVRs and on-demand content, sports is still something people want live and are willing to pay for it.
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