"I, personally, am incredibly excited about the potential", new ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro told reporters at the company's CT headquarters.
ESPN's subscription streaming service ESPN+ arrives today.
Overall, the app redesign looks pretty slick if you like ESPN's way of presenting content. ESPN+ doesn't have the games or shows you'll find on the traditional ESPN channels. BYU locked in an extension with ESPN through 2019, for one, and the app will broadcast "football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, track and field, gymnastics, swimming and diving, lacrosse, wrestling, volleyball, golf and more" from 20 different conferences, according to the press release.
That's because ESPN+, which costs $5 a month, doesn't give you ESPN.
One of two major Disney (DIS) weapons in the streaming pay-TV wars launched today, and while viewers are only just getting the chance to dig into the sports-focused ESPN+, early reviews - at least on Twitter - are mixed.
While Disney and ESPN have been previewing ESPN+ for a while now, and released numerous content details last week, they also brought reporters to ESPN's Bristol, Connecticut headquarters to lay out their vision and show off the app. Detail, meanwhile, is a show created, written and hosted by NBA legend and Oscar victor (Dear Basketball) Kobe Bryant that'll air exclusively on ESPN+.
Pitaro said that ESPN's relationship with cable providers remains "a critical part of our business and will continue to be so". "No one is in a better position than ESPN to serve sports fans".
ESPN+ also won't have a standalone app: It's actually baked into the main ESPN app for iOS, Apple TV, Android, Amazon devices, as well as the web. If you sign up before April 18, your free trial will last 30 days.
Cord cutters, though, will have to keep waiting. As before, the app will include news, scores and highlights that are accessible to all users, as well as the ability to watch linear ESPN by authenticating your cable account. ESPN+ says you'll still see the adverts in the regular breaks punctuating live sports content, for example.
ESPN+ is only available in the States, and the company says there are no plans to expand to other countries right now, which makes sense considering it would be tough to get all of these license agreements elsewhere.
The new ESPN App delivers a unique experience to every fan, while also enabling meaningful curation and presentation from ESPN's unmatched storytellers, journalists and content creators.