Over recent years, ESPN+ took major steps to improve its soccer streaming services.
For example, ESPN+ holds more soccer leagues than any of its competitors. LaLiga and the Bundesliga are top-tier leagues with heavy followings throughout. Same applies to competitions such as the Championship, Major League Soccer and USL Championship.
Inside the application, there are also strong features that users have access to. For one, the rewind feature comes in handy when something crucial happens in the game. Also, ESPN’s multicast feature is revolutionary, and is essential when there are multiple games on at the same time. Other streaming services should take notes from multicast for different leagues’ big days across the grounds.
This is not to say ESPN+ is perfect, as no streaming service is. Each person will have their own issues as they use it. Similarly, some of these conundrums may not really be in ESPN’s hands.
However, if perfection is the goal, ESPN+ can improve its soccer streaming services in a few ways.
Four ways for ESPN+ to improve soccer streaming service
1000’s of games
Includes: Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, MLS & more
1. Allow access to ESPN without cable or TV provider
Soccer fans have to subscribe to a number of services to watch all the leagues throughout Europe. The Bundesliga and LaLiga are on ESPN+, the Premier League is on Peacock, Serie A and the Champions League are on Paramount+. It is a lot to keep track of.
For domestic soccer, ESPN regularly puts MLS games on ESPN or ESPN2. That’s great, it grows the game for a more traditional audience. However, despite paying directly to ESPN’s subscription service, users of ESPN+ do not have access to the main ESPN channel. That seems like a given, particularly since CBS does it on Paramount+.
2. Keep hold of soccer properties
I said it once, and I’ll say it again. It is a struggle to keep track of the different streaming services necessary to watch soccer. Recently, the Eredivisie, the top league in the Netherlands, left ESPN+. A fairly popular league with the likes of Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord, losing the Eredivisie is a big, albeit not monumental, loss for ESPN+’s catalog.
Re-upping on the English Football League for two more years is a good start. However, it is not long ago that ESPN had coverage of Serie A. Imagine a world where LaLiga, Bundesliga and Serie A are on one platform. Pure bliss.
Understandably, these rights are expensive and only growing costlier. Wishful thinking, perhaps, but it would certainly improve ESPN+ soccer streaming services.
3. Update layout of home screen
ESPN+ has so much soccer content. The only problem is that on weekends when there are hundreds of sporting events, it can be a challenge to find a particular game you want to watch.
There are search features, but if you use some kind of smart TV, Apple TV or Amazon Firestick, the search process is somewhat challenging. Instead, ESPN+ could do something where it lists out competitions, then has the games fall under that umbrella. There are likely other means of organization out there that would make it more seamless.
4. Simplify payment process
In regards to the August 23rd price hike to $9.99, there is belief that this is an effort to push subscribers towards the Disney Bundle. The Disney Bundle is fine, and it does actually provide some good value.
However, the process to merge subscriptions onto the Disney Bundle is not as simple it should be. People that make an effort to join the Disney Bundle that already have ESPN+ or Hulu or Disney+ receive numerous emails. Plus you have to activate the services, which is something that should happen automatically. Maybe in the future, ESPN+ can opt for some form of central registration process to make everything simpler, and make subscribers happier.
Let us know what you would like to see from ESPN+ using the comment section below.
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