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Which streaming service is the best value for soccer fans?

streaming service best value soccer

For the ultimate soccer fan, watching European soccer leagues requires a mix of services and subscriptions. Just looking at the top five leagues, fans require ESPN+, Paramount+, Peacock Premium and a provider that carries beIN SPORTS.

Evidently, those costs add up. Fortunately, the main streaming services pile up when it comes to the leagues and competitions they carry. For instance, ESPN+ provides access to the top flights in Spain, Germany, Netherlands and United States. Similarly, Paramount+  has coverage of Serie A, the Champions League, Scottish Premiership and more.

Quantity versus quality

Therefore, when it comes to value, there are practically two ways of looking at it. One is overall cost per game. Some providers have more content than others, even if the prices are equal or near-equal. Quantity can be great if the viewer just wants to watch.

The other parameter to consider for the streaming service with the best value for soccer fans is the quality of the leagues included. Holding the rights to a number of competitions is great. However, if those competitions are not necessarily impressive or entertaining, then there is no true value.

Of course, it comes down to a hybrid of those two. It is also important to note that soccer is far from the only thing on the following three streaming platforms. While ESPN+ is devoted to live sports and related content, Paramount+ and Peacock arguably focus more on non-sports content than they do on the sports coverage.

Movies, TV shows and live news and TV coverage are all part of the selection of content.

Of course, that is accessory information to soccer fans hunting the best value for their streaming service.

Streaming service with the best value for soccer fans

Each of the ‘big three’ streaming services soccer fans use offer an annual plan. When comparing that with the total number of games on that streaming platform, you get a cost per each game.

This is a very raw way of looking at the information, but it does demonstrate the options available for each platform.

Paramount+PeacockESPN+
Annual no. of games24001805400
Annual cost$49.99$49.99$99.99
Cost per game$0.02$0.27$0.018

 

Unsurprisingly, the best value per game when it comes to soccer streaming services is ESPN+. With so many leagues exclusive to the streaming service, it is no surprise that the cost per game shoots straight down.

This is despite the fact that ESPN+ recently increased its price to $9.99 per month, yielding the $99.99 per year option.

Quantity vs. Quality

ESPN+’s highlight of its lineup is the Bundesliga or LaLiga. While these are popular leagues, they do not have the same vigor of some of the competitors for best streaming service value for soccer fans.

For comparison, the 180 games on Peacock Premium are all Premier League games exclusive to the streaming platform. Oftentimes, due to the calamity of the Premier League, these exclusive games feature major teams in fixtures of high significance.

Similarly, Paramount+ carries Serie A and the UEFA Champions League. Both of those competitions have studio crews that provide in-depth and entertaining coverage of the competitions to supplement the live broadcasts.

Comment below which streaming service holds the most value for you as a soccer fan. Does it come down to the quality of games and the surrounding coverage, or do you want the most availability and flexibility of more games from more countries?

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  • Price: $9.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
  • Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
2,000+ soccer games per year
  • Price: $4.99/mo
  • Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
  • Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
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35 Comments

35 Comments

  1. mreddie

    September 1, 2022 at 12:09 am

    I think as of now, it is ESPN+ (this year until Apple gets the A package, rumors are ESPN MLS games will get simulcast on E+ next season which I kinda wonder.) They also have the NHL, College Sports, USL, EFL (and the other cups), Eredivisie, Belgian First Division A, LaLiga 1/2, Bundesliga and possibly the US Open Cup? (Has anyone wondered who gets that next season?)

    Paramount+ having UFEA, NWSL, Brasileirāo, Argentine Primera, AFC, Serie A, Scottish Premiership and them renewing the UFEA package gives them a big leg up.

    Peacock of course has the Crown Jewel of Football (Premier) and despite having half of the games on it, the other games are later on demand.

    Next season will depend on if Apple gets another sport since they are in the running for the NFL Sunday Ticket package. And as it stands, I think will depend who carries how many games and their schedules.

    And of course, who rules the World Cup and UEFA. The names that will come off of that will carry weight just like in 2018 where all this started.

    I do wonder if Ligue 1 will ever leave their deal but then again, Ligue 1 is just the same top 2 teams every UCL season and everyone else gets Europa.

  2. El Jefe

    August 31, 2022 at 3:56 pm

    I like One Football/ Eleven for the Norwegian league and a bunch of others for free. YouTube for the Russian League which I love that league. Paramount plus is also top notch for their great serie A coverage and a whole host of other great leagues. Peacock is the worst.

  3. dave

    August 31, 2022 at 3:50 pm

    Unless something is a pure commodity or has inelastic demand or etc., cost-per-item is not even a surrogate for value. If something I do not want costs a penny, it is bad value for me. If something I really like costs $100, it may be great value for me
    .
    I rate each of these services as having excellent value (ESPN+ perhaps less so if you only watch soccer and do not care for the rest of the Disney bundle). A cup of coffee in a mid-range coffee shop is now often in the $4 range. Do I get as much enjoyment from a month of Paramount+ or Peacock as from one cup of coffee out of home? Without question, yes

  4. jason

    August 31, 2022 at 2:05 pm

    Best value…hmm. Youtube and Eleven Sports for no money. You can get full games from Russia (youtube), Norway (eleven), Denmark (eleven), and some others on Eleven too. Who cares about commentary.

    • Ra

      August 31, 2022 at 2:26 pm

      Games from Russia? For free is already too expensive. I would rather watch cornhole.

      • jason

        September 1, 2022 at 12:00 pm

        Just got to skip forward those horrendous pre game musical acts they often have at their games and your good.

  5. MarkB

    August 31, 2022 at 1:30 pm

    My interest level is in order:
    1. Premier League
    2. Champions League
    3. Bundesliga
    4. Serie A
    5. Europa League
    6. La Liga
    7. whatever other league happens to be on
    Since about 99% of network tv, other than sports, TCM and serious documentaries, is garbage to me I gladly subscribe to all of the big three streaming services.

  6. Mercator

    August 31, 2022 at 1:13 pm

    Paramount+: Approx. $370m p/a for CL and Seria A combined. Round to $400 for the other stuff I can’t find info for. $400m/$5 = $80 worth of value per $1

    ESPN+: Approx $210m p/a for La Liga and BL. Round to $250 for the other stuff? $250m/$10 = $25 worth of value per $1

    Peacock: $450m for EPL. This is discounted to $225 though since only half the games are available live. $225/$5 = $45 worth per $1 (if you use $450/$5 is $90 per dollar, and if you use $225/$2 its $112.5 per dollar).

    So basically I think per dollar ESPN is always going to come up last after this latest price hike (and losing MLS which would have doubled ESPN’s spend). Paramount+ is generally first, but the peacock deal at $20 a year is the best bang for your buck. That sounds about right.

    • dave

      August 31, 2022 at 3:01 pm

      @Mercator, that is a nice way to look at it. I especially like your use of summed estimated rights fees as a surrogate for aggregate average consumer interest. It is otherwise difficult to integrate across domestic leagues, champions leagues, domestic cups, etc.
      .
      Of course, many fans have vastly different perceived value than “aggregate average”, but it is a useful data point. Thanks for making the initial estimates and calculations

  7. PaulS

    August 31, 2022 at 12:55 pm

    As a huge PL fan, I find it really galling that the PL is split across USA Channel (and occasional NBC) and Peacock. I watch no other ‘cable’ channels, but am forced to pay $65/mo to get access to all the PL games. I really wish there was a Peacock+++ option that cost more (but less than $65!) that provided all games live. I really detest cable bundling – I thought it would have died by now.

    • Michael F

      August 31, 2022 at 1:04 pm

      And yet you feel ‘forced’ to continue to subscribe to a cable bundle you detest and pay $65/month to watch all matches live?

      Am I missing something here? You DO have a choice. No one is forcing you. Just saying.

      And this is coming from one who recently cut the cord completely… knowing full well I had the choice to do it. Only because my viewing habits have changed enough to just live with streaming apps that don’t provide this cable-like ‘live’ tv choice.

    • Michael F

      August 31, 2022 at 1:08 pm

      One additional thing to say. I do agree that it would be nice if Peacock had an extra fee tier available (that I would gladly pay extra for), to get all PL matches ‘live.’ Unfortunately they don’t. So I live with the great $5 deal a month to watch some PL matches on delay.

    • Mercator

      August 31, 2022 at 1:20 pm

      I agree and I think the number above highlight the issue. At $45m in content per dollar spent, Peacock is midtier value for half the EPL games (but excellent value for $20 p/a). If you follow the a similar scale, all of the EPL games should be between $10-$15 a month. Instead they are effectively AT LEAST $35+. This is a complete ripoff, relative to other broadcasters and relative to Peacock as well. This is ironic because it basically means Peacock is great value IF you don’t actually care about watching every EPL match. For the half the games you get, its the best deal out there at $20 per year. BUT, if you are a serious fan and want to watch every game, the value NBC provides drops off a cliff because cable is required. NBC says they love the PL but the pricing structure (and the lack of an option to pay for all games on Peacock) actually indicates NBC is targeting casual fans with its Peacock offering while trying to bleed committed EPL fans dry. Its completely understandable serious EPL fans who want to watch every game are not pleased with this arrangement.

      • Michael F

        August 31, 2022 at 1:39 pm

        @Mercator I can agree in concept to all what you said… with this notable exception (see in quotes):

        ” This is a complete ripoff, relative to other broadcasters and relative to Peacock as well. This is ironic because it basically means Peacock is great value IF you don’t actually care about watching every EPL match…’LIVE’ ”

        Every match is available on Peacock. Not all are available ‘live’ of course. But they ARE available on-demand and as you aptly pointed out.. about half of them are ‘live.’
        Although I would contend that perhaps more than half are available ‘live’ on Peacock if you count ‘Goal Rush’ that sometimes features the very match telecasted on USA network. I know I might be splitting hairs now, but its something to point out.

    • SteveK

      August 31, 2022 at 4:05 pm

      PaulS, just wanted you to know that there is a Peacock+++ option for all the games live, it’s called Peacock + Sling Blue and costs $40 per month, or $36.60 if you take advantage of the $19.99 for a year of Peacock special running right now. That’s your Peacock+++ plan.

  8. David+K.

    August 31, 2022 at 11:43 am

    One nice thing about Peacock is eventually all 380 PL games are available, either live or on replay. At the price point of $5 per month or no extra charge if you already have Xfinity internet, that is a great deal. As I dont always have time to watch full matches I like the extended replays that Peacock provides, usually covering a match in 15 minutes.

    • Michael F

      August 31, 2022 at 12:18 pm

      Very true David+K and I actually watch most matches on-demand later anyway due to my schedule, so I don’t mind now and again having to wait till next morning to catch a matchon Peacock that aired on USA network the day before. I realize that is not ideal for most soccer fans here, but I easily avoid spoilers when I want to and watch the match on-demand later as if it was happening live. Again, for $5 to get all 380 PL matches, that is great deal.

  9. Turfit

    August 31, 2022 at 10:58 am

    How many leagues does ESPN+ offer but not every single match? It’s hard to follow a team or league if every match is not on the service. This is the biggest complaint about Peacock. To my knowledge, Paramount+ shows every match of every league except for the Scottish League.

    • Michael F

      August 31, 2022 at 11:09 am

      ESPN+ definitely carries every match of the LaLiga and Bundesliga, plus they have shoulder programming (weekly highlight shows etc). Not sure if every match of the English Championship league or the Eredivisie league is shown on ESPN+.

      • Dan

        August 31, 2022 at 12:02 pm

        Generally, only the Bundesliga and La Liga actually make every match available to global broadcasters (in terms of ESPN’s current rights deals). Gravity Media also started doing that for the FA Cup 3rd/4th Rounds last season too if I remember correctly, which had not previously been the case.

        • Turfit

          September 1, 2022 at 7:35 am

          Yes, every Bundesliga and La Liga matches is available which is great!! But,they also have rights to Allsuenskan league, Eredivise league, Jupiter league, the Championship and Bundesliga 2 that they only show a few matches per week. It’s great that they offer a few matches, but offering every match would be the ideal situation. I don’t know if all of these leagues offer English World feed but they should.

  10. Jesus

    August 31, 2022 at 10:34 am

    The only thing that matters is which league and competitions you are most interested in. Any other metric is meaningless.

    • Michael F

      August 31, 2022 at 10:39 am

      I agree with that. I’ve always had the thought process that i don’t mind paying for something that i am getting my use out of and the ROI.

    • Leo

      August 31, 2022 at 3:54 pm

      I agree with this, I think Kyler knows this too, but he just want to be a troll.

  11. Michael F

    August 31, 2022 at 10:28 am

    Of course there will be rebuttals to Kyle’s notion that ESPN+ is the best value, due to the fact some here are annoyed their price point just went up recently. 🙂

    I may upset a few here to say that paying an annual fee that comes out to $8.33 a month and complaining about it is as ridiculous as it gets. One can certainly choose not to subscribe because they don’t follow as closely the soccer leagues that ESPN+ Carrie’s. I can understand that. What I cannot understand is choosing to cancel a subscription because the price point went up $3 per month when they DO want to follow the leagues carried on ESPN+. Sorry, but that is about as extreme as it gets. It is simply not a reasonable or rational decision.

    I am subscribed to all three streaming services highlighted in this article but primarily follow the Premier League in depth. I would pay triple what I am paying today without hesitation for the Premier League because the amount of hours I take in watching its coverage. It’s totally worth it if you put in the time for what you pay for. $5 a month is like loose change in your pocket these days.

    I know this sentiment does not agree with everyone here, but consider… every time you go thru a drive thru for a coffee and pastry or for burger and fries just ONCE a month — you pay more than each of these streaming services for a whole month of viewing. Just some perspective here.

    • Ra

      August 31, 2022 at 12:00 pm

      It is quite simple really. My key constraint is time, not money.
      So, I am paying the fee not to watch all games, but only a handful. I also have principles, and believe that a 43% increase is insulting. And I also do not have much esteem for the money grabbing vision of Disney’s new CEO.
      So in short, in addition to not wasting $7 (now $10) per month, I now have to check fewer schedules on my dedicated app.
      The other thing is that EPL’s had another killer transfer window this year, so my interest also shifted.

      • Michael F

        August 31, 2022 at 12:30 pm

        @Ra I can appreciate your viewpoint and rationale of principles. Also, your viewing habits for watching soccer matches – which is quite different than mine. I don’t just watch any soccer match that’s on… I like to know all about the storylines and players and league in depth. I choose PL, as I think its the best to follow – but of course that’s up to debate based on taste (altho price point of a streaming provider that carries a specific league or the fact all matches are not available live on a streaming provider should not come into that debate in my opinion – smile)

        That said, I do catch the highlight shows of these other leagues I don’t follow as closely (i.e. Bunesliga, Serie A, LaLiga), and if there is a high profile match of top clubs (like ElClasico) – I will tune in for the match.

        and yes… its a 43% increase… and yet its only THREE MORE DOLLARS in a whole month of viewing. Again… some perspective.

    • Mercator

      August 31, 2022 at 1:31 pm

      It’s interesting because I view the value a bit differently since, frankly, every game is available somewhere on the internet for free. I’m not paying for the right to see the game, I’m paying for the value add the broadcaster provides. Things like a good studio, a convenient app, high resolution – this is what separates the legit pay broadcasters from free bootleg streams. This is part of what annoys me about NBC so much – I’m not sure they really do much beyond the bootleg streams. The sky studio is better and has more in depth commentary in my view, although now that Peacock is 60 fps that is one big value add over bootleg streams. ESPN+ provides multicast and the app is much more convenient for finding smaller leagues and games, but at $10 a month I’m not sure this is enough value add. Paramount+ still shines here – yea video quality could be sharper but its still better than most streams, excellent studio for CL and Seria A, and CONCACAF/Brazil/Argentina is actually very difficult to find a English stream for so CBS has no real competition here.

      These apps are like Spotify – I use it not because I actually have to in order to get the music, but because its more convenient, a better experience, and a reasonable price. $5 doesn’t seem like much, but if the broadcaster is providing nothing of value and you can stream the games for free, why light $60 on fire every year?

      • Michael F

        August 31, 2022 at 5:41 pm

        I will have to agree with you about the studio show being absent for Peacock match coverage. That would be nice to have as part of the subscription regularly on matchday.

        Of course you do get some recorded clips afterwards. And Goal Rush now provides some live studio pregame, which is nice. Plus Peacock also provides the live Sky Sports coverage of transfer deadline day.

  12. Ra

    August 31, 2022 at 8:52 am

    Kyle,

    The average cost per game metric you showed here is meaningless.
    This is how I would approach this analysis:
    List key properties in a table for each provider -> Go to transfermarket -> get total player market values for each league -> Assign total league value for each provider -> Divide this value by the cost of streaming each service.
    If a league is not listed on transfermark’s extensive list, it is worth 0.

    ESPN will clearly rank very bad if you do this analysis properly. I did not run the numbers, but I am pretty sure this would be the results: Best: 1. Paramount (@ $5/mo), 2. Peacock (@ $5 /mo), distant 3rd, ESPN (@ $9.99/mo).
    I am not sure of the 1-2 order if you list Peacock for $19.99/yr as of the current promo.

    • Mercator

      August 31, 2022 at 9:33 am

      Interesting approach but I think it ESPN would certainly be above Peacock based on volume, and would skew heavily in favor of Paramount with CL and Europa (basically every good team). Peacock value should also be divided by 2+ since you only get HALF the EPL on Peacock.

      • Ra

        August 31, 2022 at 9:44 am

        I don’t think so. EPL is worth as much as LaLiga and Bundesliga combined. Everything else on ESPN+ is not of much market value (Eredivise for instance is worth 10% of EPL; after Antony left it is probably 9%). Also, Peacock is half the price, and offers all the games if you consider the time-delayed. I have been more busy, and decided to settle for simplicity. I don’t even mind the time delayed games, as I have not been following much news (and thus no spoilers). I ditched ESPN+, and I haven’t missed it.

        • Ra

          August 31, 2022 at 9:46 am

          @Kyle, go on. Do the math for us.. 🙂

      • Ra

        August 31, 2022 at 9:48 am

        PS: If you want to sophisticate, we can also multiply by the number of matches of each league/team – for instance, EPL teams play much more often on EPL than CL.

        • Mercator

          August 31, 2022 at 12:50 pm

          Yes but I don’t think this changes anything. The EPL can play more, but Paramount+ also has Seria A. Even if EPL is worth as much as La Liga and Bundesliga combined, Peacock only has half the games (live), so would still come up short. Don’t get me wrong, $20 is a great deal for half the EPL, using market value of the leagues will certainly result in Peacock at dead last.

          FWIW I don’t think using the market value approach would make much sense. It seems a bit circular (the leagues with most TV revenue can buy the highest market value players – doesn’t mean they are better simply because a league can afford to overpay). I think the best approach would be to see how much each broadcaster spends on soccer rights, and divide that by the monthly price. I think on this metric, Peacock is probably second after Paramount+, maybe first at $20.

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