ESPN Insider is going away after 20 years: The Disney-owned sports media giant is switching Insider subscribers over to ESPN+, its recently launched premium streaming service.
ESPN has begun notifying Insider subscribers about the change, which takes effect next Tuesday (Aug. 28). With the latest update to the ESPN App (version 6.2), premium digital subscription content will all simply be ESPN+, which will include what has heretofore been ESPN Insider content.
The ESPN+ branding within the app and espn.com will replace ESPN Insider and all content and features will be available in the same subscription. The goal, according to ESPN, is to simplify its digital direct-to-consumer subscription offerings to fans with a single service — while offering even more value in their subscription.
ESPN declined to disclose how many subs it has currently for Insider, which launched in 1998, or ESPN+, which debuted this spring.
With the change, ESPN+ subscribers will now have access to what has been on ESPN Insider, including analysis on players, teams and leagues from writers like Jay Bilas, Mike Clay, Jonathan Givony, Eric Karabell, Mel Kiper Jr., Keith Law, Todd McShay, Kevin Pelton, and Mike Sando. Additionally, content- and data-driven tools like Pick Center and a host of other tools and analytics content.
By the same token, all ESPN insider subscribers now get access to thousands annual live sporting events — including Major League Baseball, NHL, Major League Soccer, Serie A, FA Cup, college sports, and Top Rank Boxing — that are available through ESPN+.
There will be no changes to any subscriber’s subscription prices. ESPN Insider and ESPN+ have both been priced at $4.99 per month. ESPN Insider was slightly less for an annual subscription ($39.99 vs. $49.99 for ESPN+); however, ESPN Insider subscribers who are migrating over will continue to have their subscription price grandfathered in going forward.
Any ESPN Insider subscribers who were receiving ESPN The Magazine will continue to receive the print version. New ESPN+ subscribers will not receive the magazine.
In addition to the Insider merging into ESPN+, version 6.2 of the ESPN App introduces a few other feature improvements. Those include enhancements to the video player such as double-tap functionality to skip ahead or rewind 10 seconds, as well as haptics and thumbnail views as users scrub through video playback. The ESPN App also improves video playlist navigation and provides one-step navigation to favorite teams and leagues via a carousel of favorites on the homescreen feed.