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The cost for an annual subscription for ESPN Plus subscribers will increase from $49.99 to $59.99 in 2021, according to Variety. ESPN raised the monthly price of ESPN Plus earlier this year to $5.99, and now the annual subscription is getting the same treatment.
New subscribers will start paying $59.99 on January 8th, 2021, and the new price will reportedly trickle down to existing subscribers a few months later in March. Disney had already announced that Disney Plus and the company’s bundle of Hulu, Disney Plus, and ESPN Plus would each cost $1 more starting in March 2021, raising those prices to $8.99 and $13.99, respectively. Streaming price hikes have been a theme of 2020; YouTube TV raised its price, Fubo followed not long after, Netflix raised the cost of its most popular streaming plan by $1, and Hulu’s Live TV service got a price bump as well.
The pricing for ESPN Plus’ UFC pay-per-view events will also change in January. Currently each match costs $64.99 to watch, but after January 8th, that will change to $69.99. UFC pay-per-view matches are exclusive to ESPN Plus in the US, so the price change will affect anyone who keeps up with MMA regularly. Outside the US, the availability of matches varies depending on the region, but the official UFC site has the most up-to-date information.
These kinds of streaming service price hikes aren’t unusual, and if anything it gives some insight into ESPN and Disney’s confidence in their service. There are new ESPN Plus exclusives coming to the service next year, but ESPN’s biggest get is streaming rights to Southeastern Conference football, which will bring SEC games to the streaming service in 2021. We’ll have to see if these are enough for existing subscribers to stick around.