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ESPN Plus raising annual subscription price to $60

(Logo courtesy Walt Disney Company; Graphic by The Desk)

The Walt Disney Company’s streaming-only sports service ESPN Plus is about to get more expensive.

Less than a month after the company announced a slew of new programming at its Investor’s Day event, Disney said it would hike the annual price of ESPN Plus from $50 a year to $60 a year. The new price will take effect for new subscribers or renewals on January 8, 2021.

Disney will also charge ESPN Plus subscribers more to watch pay-per-view Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) matches, with the per-match price increasing from $65 an event to $70 an event. The UFC has a contract with Disney and co-investor Hearst Communications allowing the company the exclusive televised rights to its matches in the United States.

The fee increases come after Disney announced similar hikes across its other streaming services, including a bundle that brings ESPN Plus together with its two other services Disney Plus and Hulu. The price of that bundle is set to increase by $1 a month starting next year.

Those who subscribe to Disney Plus separately will also be charged an extra $1 a month or $10 a year to subscribe to the commercial-free, family-friendly movie service. After January, Disney Plus will cost $7 a month or $70 a year, though subscribers have been promised more content as a result of the fee increase.

In early December, Disney said it would commit between $8 billion and $9 billion to producing original programs for Disney Plus by 2024 and announced it would spend between $14 billion and $16 billion producing shows and movies across all three of its streaming services by that same year.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).