ESPN+ is sweetening its service in December with a massive, 49-game NHL package, which should be a boon for its bundle with Disney+ and the league itself.
News of this development recently came from the four-letter network itself, with a full schedule of contests featuring all 31 teams.
Already a relative bargain at $4.99 per month, ESPN+ has joined forces with other Disney entertainment properties of late. This development could be mutually beneficial for the exclusive sports platform and the NHL itself.
Which games on the schedule are the best?
Well, that’s a matter of how last season’s storylines have carried over to the 2019-20 NHL campaign. ESPN.com’s top hockey writers, Emily Kaplan and Greg Wyshynski, offered their marquee matchups in the press release.
Kaplan chose December 9’s clash when the Tampa Bay Lightning host the New York Islanders. Wyshynski opted for a clash between the Colorado Avalanche and the reigning Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues, who are home.
All four teams made the most recent postseason. The Lightning ran away with the Presidents’ Trophy with the league’s best record last season. Unfortunately, they were swept by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the playoffs’ opening round.
Tampa Bay suffered one of the most monumental collapses in modern sports history. Trust it — that’s not overselling the situation.
Last month’s ESPN+ featured 49 NHL games, too. Each team was on the schedule at least twice. However, it didn’t have the benefit of a newly-launched, probable streaming giant to springboard its popularity.
Disney+ launch sparks instant momentum
Although the new streamer lacks new, original content at the minute, there’s a huge catalog of animated features and classic movies and TV shows to choose from.
Plus, its flagship original TV series, Star Wars’ The Mandalorian, is receiving immense acclaim and is already filming a second season.
It seems like the Mouse House is ubiquitous in the world of entertainment. ESPN+ is just an extension of the long-running biggest sports brand in the U.S., and they’ve been joined at the hip of late.
The best combination cord-cutting deal on the market
Disney is offering Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu in a bundle all for only $12.99 per month. What a deal! It’s not lost on the corporate giant, either, to parlay this business: this bundle is mentioned at the very end of the cited ESPN press release!
Although the current bundle deal doesn’t include the full perks of Hulu’s sports packages, that’s what ESPN+ is for!
Between the movie and TV arsenal featured in Disney+ and Hulu, along with ESPN+’s exclusive content and ability to stream numerous live sports, it’s a tremendous all-around package that’s difficult to resist.
Now with the NHL being much more visible to the Disney+ audience, it ought to see an uptick in ESPN+ numbers. The exposure is beneficial for all parties involved, and only increases Disney’s prominence.