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Published on February 7th, 2019 | by Brad Gibson


ESPN+ surpasses 2 million subscribers in less than a year

ESPN+, Disney’s standalone premium subscription service for sports fans, is growing fast with now over two million subscribers, thanks in part to UFC mixed martial arts content. The numbers come less than a year since the streaming services launch in April, 2018.

Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger acknowledged the latest growth numbers during his company’s quarterly earnings call Wednesday and confirmed the first UFC fight night added 568,000 new subscribers to ESPN+ on the Friday and Saturday leading into the card.

“We expect the expansion of combat sports content on the streaming service to drive continued growth in the months ahead,” said Iger.

The addition of UFC didn’t come cheap for Disney with a price tag of $1.5 billion, but it has already been a significant boost for the service. The next UFC Fight Night is scheduled for February 23rd.

Disney plans on streaming over 1,425 live events this month on ESPN+.

During Tuesday’s call, Iger again hinted at a potential bundling of ESPN+ and the upcoming Disney+ service set to launch April 11th, saying consumers might be able to get both services together at a discounted rate.

“Ultimately, our goal would be to use the same tech platform to make it easier for people to sign up to all three should they want to use the same credit card, same username, same password, etc,” Iger commented.

ESPN+ is part of the existing ESPN app on Apple TV and costs $4.99 per month or $49.99 for an annual membership. The service offers MLB, NHL and MLS games, Grand Slam tennis, Top Rank boxing, PGA Tour golf, college sports, international rugby, cricket, the full library of ESPN Films including 30 for 30, and more.

ESPN and it’s affiliated networks are not available on ESPN+, but separately through the ESPN App – available on Apple TV – with a TV provider subscription.

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About the Author

Brad is co-founder and editor-in-chief of He has been a technology reporter since the late 1980s having previously worked for MacUser, MacFormat, and iCreate magazines, as well as,,,, and He hosted and produced the MacFormat This Week podcast for three years. He was also a reporter, editor, and producer for the AOL, the BBC, Associated Press, and United Press International.

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