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MLS service being replaced by ESPN+
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Post: #1
MLS service being replaced by ESPN+
The streaming subscription service for Major League Soccer for out-of-market games is going away and all the content will go to ESPN+
ESPN bought the out-of-market rights with the new contract but hadn’t picked up any of the games
https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/artic...ssion=true


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02-13-2018 08:15 PM
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ColKurtz Offline
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Post: #2
RE: MLS service being replaced by ESPN+
(02-13-2018 08:15 PM)arkstfan Wrote:  The streaming subscription service for Major League Soccer for out-of-market games is going away and all the content will go to ESPN+
ESPN bought the out-of-market rights with the new contract but hadn’t picked up any of the games
https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/artic...ssion=true


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Seems like win win for everyone. Cheaper that the previous MLS package, and ESPN+ will offer a lot more than just soccer. Plus inventory for the new ESPN app.
02-13-2018 08:43 PM
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orangefan Offline
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Post: #3
RE: MLS service being replaced by ESPN+
This is the first announcement that actually reveals some of ESPN's vision for this new service, and I'm impressed. FWIW, soccer on television has substantially better demographics than any other major team sport, even basketball. This aligns nicely with the demographic of those most likely to rely on streaming as their major viewing platform.

Some predictions for other possible programming:
- An NBA out of market game of the day similar to Yahoo!'s package with the NHL and MLB.
- More soccer, probably international leagues like Mexico and Italy.
- International sports with small but devoted followings like cricket and rugby.
02-14-2018 10:15 AM
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solohawks Offline
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Post: #4
RE: MLS service being replaced by ESPN+
I am curious as to what else will be included in ESPN +. They cannot cut ESPN 3 too much because they are getting paid per internet subscriber on that end, so if they remove all that value providers will demand not to pay the fee per internet user to ESPN.
02-14-2018 03:46 PM
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Attackcoog Offline
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Post: #5
RE: MLS service being replaced by ESPN+
(02-14-2018 03:46 PM)solohawks Wrote:  I am curious as to what else will be included in ESPN +. They cannot cut ESPN 3 too much because they are getting paid per internet subscriber on that end, so if they remove all that value providers will demand not to pay the fee per internet user to ESPN.

I think ESPN3 is destined to basically be a streaming depot for the ESPN family of networks. ESPN-Plus will be just that---an additional mostly unique network that shares little programming with ESPN other than maybe Sports Center. That said, its possible ESPN-Plus has its own version of Sports Center thats more focused on its own content arena.
(This post was last modified: 02-14-2018 09:40 PM by Attackcoog.)
02-14-2018 05:07 PM
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Attackcoog Offline
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Post: #6
RE: MLS service being replaced by ESPN+
(02-14-2018 10:15 AM)orangefan Wrote:  This is the first announcement that actually reveals some of ESPN's vision for this new service, and I'm impressed. FWIW, soccer on television has substantially better demographics than any other major team sport, even basketball. This aligns nicely with the demographic of those most likely to rely on streaming as their major viewing platform.

Some predictions for other possible programming:
- An NBA out of market game of the day similar to Yahoo!'s package with the NHL and MLB.
- More soccer, probably international leagues like Mexico and Italy.
- International sports with small but devoted followings like cricket and rugby.

They have already said non-P5 college sports will part of the package.
02-14-2018 05:09 PM
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msm96wolf Offline
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Post: #7
RE: MLS service being replaced by ESPN+
(02-14-2018 05:09 PM)Attackcoog Wrote:  
(02-14-2018 10:15 AM)orangefan Wrote:  This is the first announcement that actually reveals some of ESPN's vision for this new service, and I'm impressed. FWIW, soccer on television has substantially better demographics than any other major team sport, even basketball. This aligns nicely with the demographic of those most likely to rely on streaming as their major viewing platform.

Some predictions for other possible programming:
- An NBA out of market game of the day similar to Yahoo!'s package with the NHL and MLB.
- More soccer, probably international leagues like Mexico and Italy.
- International sports with small but devoted followings like cricket and rugby.

They have already said non-P5 college sports will part of the package.

Makes sense since the ACC, P12, B10 and SEC streams their non revenue sports. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. I know I enjoyed catching App State and other G5 football games on ESPN3 but I certainly would not pay extra to watch these teams.
02-14-2018 08:14 PM
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ColKurtz Offline
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Post: #8
RE: MLS service being replaced by ESPN+
(02-14-2018 08:14 PM)msm96wolf Wrote:  
(02-14-2018 05:09 PM)Attackcoog Wrote:  
(02-14-2018 10:15 AM)orangefan Wrote:  This is the first announcement that actually reveals some of ESPN's vision for this new service, and I'm impressed. FWIW, soccer on television has substantially better demographics than any other major team sport, even basketball. This aligns nicely with the demographic of those most likely to rely on streaming as their major viewing platform.

Some predictions for other possible programming:
- An NBA out of market game of the day similar to Yahoo!'s package with the NHL and MLB.
- More soccer, probably international leagues like Mexico and Italy.
- International sports with small but devoted followings like cricket and rugby.

They have already said non-P5 college sports will part of the package.

Makes sense since the ACC, P12, B10 and SEC streams their non revenue sports. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. I know I enjoyed catching App State and other G5 football games on ESPN3 but I certainly would not pay extra to watch these teams.

Sports streamed on ESPN+ are explicitly things that are not available on the ESPN cable channels. That doesn't mean that a CUSA/MAC game not picked up by one of the ESPN channels would be on ESPN+; it would end up on ESPN3(WatchESPN), thus requiring a cable subscription. No FBS football, probably little if any FCS football, or basketball games of note will be on the app. This clearly seems to be an app targeting sports that would ben on The Ocho.
02-15-2018 01:26 AM
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Post: #9
MLS service being replaced by ESPN+
(02-15-2018 01:26 AM)ColKurtz Wrote:  
(02-14-2018 08:14 PM)msm96wolf Wrote:  
(02-14-2018 05:09 PM)Attackcoog Wrote:  
(02-14-2018 10:15 AM)orangefan Wrote:  This is the first announcement that actually reveals some of ESPN's vision for this new service, and I'm impressed. FWIW, soccer on television has substantially better demographics than any other major team sport, even basketball. This aligns nicely with the demographic of those most likely to rely on streaming as their major viewing platform.

Some predictions for other possible programming:
- An NBA out of market game of the day similar to Yahoo!'s package with the NHL and MLB.
- More soccer, probably international leagues like Mexico and Italy.
- International sports with small but devoted followings like cricket and rugby.

They have already said non-P5 college sports will part of the package.

Makes sense since the ACC, P12, B10 and SEC streams their non revenue sports. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. I know I enjoyed catching App State and other G5 football games on ESPN3 but I certainly would not pay extra to watch these teams.

Sports streamed on ESPN+ are explicitly things that are not available on the ESPN cable channels. That doesn't mean that a CUSA/MAC game not picked up by one of the ESPN channels would be on ESPN+; it would end up on ESPN3(WatchESPN), thus requiring a cable subscription. No FBS football, probably little if any FCS football, or basketball games of note will be on the app. This clearly seems to be an app targeting sports that would ben on The Ocho.


I’m not so sure. They have several years of ESPN3 data. I bet they have an educated guess as to what they can move to Plus to sell subscriptions.
They don’t make any real effort to monetize content on 3 beyond the carriage fee.
An Arkansas-Monticello vs Ouachita Baptist football game isn’t going to produce many people asking ESPN to take their $5. But a Wichita State vs UConn hoops game has two fan bases that will pay.
Sun Belt people seem really upbeat about their renewal talks with ESPN. That makes me believe Plus is a part of the deal. In 2015 AState averaged nearly 14k for ESPN3 games not counting the 134k for a home game with Mizzou. Even if only a fourth sign up to pay the Sun Belt is probably worth a minimum of $1 million in new revenue for content currently on ESPN3.
I would also bet that the $5 per month figure being thrown out is based on a single annual payment with month-to-month closer $6.50 or $7.


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Post: #10
RE: MLS service being replaced by ESPN+
(02-15-2018 05:21 AM)arkstfan Wrote:  
(02-15-2018 01:26 AM)ColKurtz Wrote:  
(02-14-2018 08:14 PM)msm96wolf Wrote:  
(02-14-2018 05:09 PM)Attackcoog Wrote:  
(02-14-2018 10:15 AM)orangefan Wrote:  This is the first announcement that actually reveals some of ESPN's vision for this new service, and I'm impressed. FWIW, soccer on television has substantially better demographics than any other major team sport, even basketball. This aligns nicely with the demographic of those most likely to rely on streaming as their major viewing platform.

Some predictions for other possible programming:
- An NBA out of market game of the day similar to Yahoo!'s package with the NHL and MLB.
- More soccer, probably international leagues like Mexico and Italy.
- International sports with small but devoted followings like cricket and rugby.

They have already said non-P5 college sports will part of the package.

Makes sense since the ACC, P12, B10 and SEC streams their non revenue sports. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. I know I enjoyed catching App State and other G5 football games on ESPN3 but I certainly would not pay extra to watch these teams.

Sports streamed on ESPN+ are explicitly things that are not available on the ESPN cable channels. That doesn't mean that a CUSA/MAC game not picked up by one of the ESPN channels would be on ESPN+; it would end up on ESPN3(WatchESPN), thus requiring a cable subscription. No FBS football, probably little if any FCS football, or basketball games of note will be on the app. This clearly seems to be an app targeting sports that would ben on The Ocho.


I’m not so sure. They have several years of ESPN3 data. I bet they have an educated guess as to what they can move to Plus to sell subscriptions.
They don’t make any real effort to monetize content on 3 beyond the carriage fee.
An Arkansas-Monticello vs Ouachita Baptist football game isn’t going to produce many people asking ESPN to take their $5. But a Wichita State vs UConn hoops game has two fan bases that will pay.
Sun Belt people seem really upbeat about their renewal talks with ESPN. That makes me believe Plus is a part of the deal. In 2015 AState averaged nearly 14k for ESPN3 games not counting the 134k for a home game with Mizzou. Even if only a fourth sign up to pay the Sun Belt is probably worth a minimum of $1 million in new revenue for content currently on ESPN3.
I would also bet that the $5 per month figure being thrown out is based on a single annual payment with month-to-month closer $6.50 or $7.


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Only issue I see with this scenario, UCONN and WSU being an ESPN+ game. I doubt the AAC would want or ever consider this. Goes against their P6 narrative. ECU vs USF in basketball, I could understand being on ESPN+
02-15-2018 01:48 PM
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Post: #11
RE: MLS service being replaced by ESPN+
(02-15-2018 01:48 PM)msm96wolf Wrote:  Only issue I see with this scenario, UCONN and WSU being an ESPN+ game. I doubt the AAC would want or ever consider this. Goes against their P6 narrative. ECU vs USF in basketball, I could understand being on ESPN+

I suspect it comes down to the dollars offered.

I could see MWC embracing ESPN+ if they are mostly picking their game dates and times and the money works.

Neat clean solution for games not on the regular networks.
02-15-2018 01:54 PM
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Attackcoog Offline
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RE: MLS service being replaced by ESPN+
(02-15-2018 01:54 PM)arkstfan Wrote:  
(02-15-2018 01:48 PM)msm96wolf Wrote:  Only issue I see with this scenario, UCONN and WSU being an ESPN+ game. I doubt the AAC would want or ever consider this. Goes against their P6 narrative. ECU vs USF in basketball, I could understand being on ESPN+

I suspect it comes down to the dollars offered.

I could see MWC embracing ESPN+ if they are mostly picking their game dates and times and the money works.

Neat clean solution for games not on the regular networks.

Right. I see ESPN-Plus as "part" of the solution rather than the entire solution. Essentially, what you have is a platform ESPN can use to monetize content that isnt on its cable network.

So say the AAC says, heck no--we want our stuff on TV like it is now. Well---there is still quite a bit of AAC content not on nationally televised networks. Most of the football games vs FCS opponents tends to end up on ESPN-3. Many of their OOC basketball games show up there as well. Of course, most non-rev sports are almost exclusively found there. So---sign as many deals as you can for traditional TV (getting as much money as you can) and the 3rd tier stuff you can sell for a few bucks to ESPN-Plus. In other words, ESPN-Plus will basically serve the function of becoming the "conference network" for all the non-P5. It wont be a huge windfall--but it will be a little something for some the bigger college draws and it will provide a high quality universal warehouse for those who give away produced content to ESPN.

Basically, rights fees will reflect the contents ability to draw paying subscribers. Production costs will be part of the negotiations--just like ESPN3. My guess is they will warehouse anything on the platform that you are willing to produce as long as it complies with the quality and format protocols agreed upon.
(This post was last modified: 02-15-2018 04:02 PM by Attackcoog.)
02-15-2018 03:58 PM
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Post: #13
RE: MLS service being replaced by ESPN+
I had thought a large push for ESPN+ was a mechanism to draw in viewers who have to go there after ESPN bought their RSN.

This could be good for a consumer in some ways. You are a pirates fan on the west coast and would love the ability to watch pirate baseball without a MLB.com subscription. You pay your 5 dollars to ESPN and are able to pick up the pirate regional network plus a lot of other content you might have interest in. Then if you think that isn't enough and want to go all the way to mlb.com you would be permitted to pay for that as an add on.

Also I am pretty sure ESPN+ won't be true stand alone but something that you could add as part of a cable or IPTV package. They don't want ESPN+ to compete with ESPN for consumers to figure I don't need ESPN/2 if I have ESPN+. What they want is people feeling they have to buy ESPN+ and drive the sale of IPTV packages with it which they are now committing to work with by having carriage agreements.
02-15-2018 09:27 PM
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RE: MLS service being replaced by ESPN+
Another thing ESPN is betting on is the skinny bundle is here to stay. Skinny bundles currently don't have ESPN3 option so ESPN+ can fill the void.

If you the joe public consumer is paying only $20 dollars for a 50 channel TV package with ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU, a bundle with a reduced price because you don't have to pick up other sports channels the option to add ESPN+ and make it $25 sounds more reasonable than paying $40 for a larger bundle with Fox Sports.

T-Mobile with Layer 3 is trying to offer a new version of the fat bundle without the tack on fees and HD box. $75 dollars without movie channels for the first 12 months then after that $90 dollars. With movie channels its $121/$136. The price point just is not there when Comcast will throw you a 12 month price of $90 with all the movie channels plus they have brick and mortar stores for better service.
02-15-2018 10:06 PM
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Post: #15
RE: MLS service being replaced by ESPN+
I am confused by this product. I have a DirecTV subscription. For the most part, I stream my sports through the ESPN app. I find easier to find the game I want to watch. This means that I don't have to look for ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN News, ESPN "The Ocho", etc... I just sign into the app and pick the game I wish to watch. DirecTV is a premium television service. ESPN Plus better be part of this app when signing in.
02-16-2018 01:49 PM
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RE: MLS service being replaced by ESPN+
(02-16-2018 01:49 PM)chess Wrote:  I am confused by this product. I have a DirecTV subscription. For the most part, I stream my sports through the ESPN app. I find easier to find the game I want to watch. This means that I don't have to look for ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN News, ESPN "The Ocho", etc... I just sign into the app and pick the game I wish to watch. DirecTV is a premium television service. ESPN Plus better be part of this app when signing in.

It will be. You just will have to pay the $5 extra to access it's content
02-16-2018 02:08 PM
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Post: #17
RE: MLS service being replaced by ESPN+
(02-15-2018 10:06 PM)Kittonhead Wrote:  Another thing ESPN is betting on is the skinny bundle is here to stay. Skinny bundles currently don't have ESPN3 option so ESPN+ can fill the void.
I have Sling Orange, which does include ESPN3, as well as ACCN Extra. I view them through the WatchESPN app.

(02-15-2018 03:58 PM)Attackcoog Wrote:  So say the AAC says, heck no--we want our stuff on TV like it is now. Well---there is still quite a bit of AAC content not on nationally televised networks. Most of the football games vs FCS opponents tends to end up on ESPN-3. Many of their OOC basketball games show up there as well. Of course, most non-rev sports are almost exclusively found there. So---sign as many deals as you can for traditional TV (getting as much money as you can) and the 3rd tier stuff you can sell for a few bucks to ESPN-Plus. In other words, ESPN-Plus will basically serve the function of becoming the "conference network" for all the non-P5. It wont be a huge windfall--but it will be a little something for some the bigger college draws and it will provide a high quality universal warehouse for those who give away produced content to ESPN.

Agreed, If you're the MAC, in particular, whose primary contract includes a ton of Tuesday and Wednesday games, supplemented by ESPN3 games on Saturday, you might prefer to have all Saturday games on ESPN+. The separate subscription fee provides a way to try to monetize those games that reduces the burden on fans and students.
(This post was last modified: 02-16-2018 03:45 PM by orangefan.)
02-16-2018 03:40 PM
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arkstfan Away
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Post: #18
MLS service being replaced by ESPN+
What will Be ESPN+ and what will be 3 is mystery.


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02-16-2018 05:21 PM
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ColKurtz Offline
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Post: #19
RE: MLS service being replaced by ESPN+
(02-15-2018 10:06 PM)Kittonhead Wrote:  Another thing ESPN is betting on is the skinny bundle is here to stay. Skinny bundles currently don't have ESPN3 option so ESPN+ can fill the void.

Most skinny bundles do offer ESPN3. Not even an upcharge on Sling TV Orange, for example, while certain things like the SECN are $5 more.
02-16-2018 06:37 PM
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Post: #20
RE: MLS service being replaced by ESPN+
(02-16-2018 05:21 PM)arkstfan Wrote:  What will Be ESPN+ and what will be 3 is mystery.


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It is indeed .

ESPN plus will include all out of market MLS games and some MLB games not currently on ESPN3. Everything else is unknown

I just don't know what they can move from ESPN3 to ESPN Plus without violating ESPN3 contracts
02-16-2018 06:43 PM
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