ESPN+ doesn’t offer NFL coverage but makes up for it in other ways


Needing some time to help separate ESPN from the rest of the sports streaming market, the idea of ESPN+ was created. ESPN Plus is a video streaming service available in the United States and is owned by Walt Disney in partnership with ESPN Inc. This streaming service offers exclusive content on ESPN3, which includes all combat sports, college sports, cricket, rugby, soccer, golf, and tennis. 

As of March 2019, the platform is the exclusive provider for UFC pay-per-view events, which is sold for an additional fee. As of last March, the platform had over 7.5 million paying subscribers, which grew to over 10 million subscribers by the end of 2020.

History of ESPN+

Before ESPN+, The Walt Disney Company purchased a minority stake in BAMTech in 2016, which is a spin-out of MLB Advanced Media’s streaming technology business. Eventually, that became a majority stake. One year later, Disney embarked on a question to construct a sports-streaming platform that would draw company-owned sports rights with the MLB, NHL, and Major League Soccer. It was later announced in December 2017 that this platform would be called ESPN Plus. 

Originally, the cost for service would be $4.99 per month when it was launched in April 2018. What helped its cause was when it announced that existing Insider subscribers could merge to ESPN Plus. Previous members were grandfathers in, while others were asked to pay an annual subscription for $49.99. All Insider members received their normal services, including a subscription to ESPN The Magazine, which ended publication in September 2019. 

Like all great deals, Disney announced it would bundle the service with Disney+ and ad-supported Hulu for $12.99 per month. This deal has been around since October 2019. One year later in 2020, the company announced that analytical articles would be available to subscribers, while live-streamed radio programs such as Greeny, The Max Kellerman Show, and Chiney & Golic would be exclusively on this platform. 

ESPN NFL coverage

Unfortunately, this service has zero rights to covering football. Since ESPN+ is technically separate from ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNews, the subscription will not allow you live streams of Monday Night Football despite it playing on the ESPN network. 

What should I do about the Super Bowl?

The Super Bowl is live streamed through CBS. You actually have quite a few options. You can try to access a free 7-day trial through Hulu Live, FuboTV, YouTube TV, AT&T Live, or CBS All-Access. Just make sure to cancel your subscription after the game, so that your credit card doesn’t get charged the monthly fee. 

Does ESPN+ have good NFL coverage?

There are some significant pros and cons to paying for ESPN+ if you are a diehard football fan. Let’s take a look at the breakdown. 

Pros of being a NFL fan with ESPN+

Since ESPN+ is considered an “insider” subscription, you get access to the data-driven articles. For example, senior writer Jeremy Fowler is one of the most in-depth writers with the company. He will dive into nearly every aspect of the topic and brings up points that are backed up with stats and analytics. 

During fantasy season, Mathew Berry gives his rankings each week. During the NFL Draft, Todd McShay and Mel Kiper break down their top prospects and provide mock draft boards. Bill Barnwell is one of the best writers with long pieces and provides strong facts. If you are into betting, there are betting odds and much more. If you are looking for in-depth pieces to read, then it doesn’t get much better than this. 

Cons of owning this platform

If you aren’t much of a reader, then this won’t do much for you as the NFL fan. You can’t get access to live streams of NFL or NBA games, two of the most popular sports in the United States. If you are into college sports, this will live stream some of the mid-major events. When it comes to the NFL, this service only provides solid reading material and commentary. 

In comparison to others

When comparing the content from this service to others, there is only one site that comes to mind. ProFootballTalk has to be ESPN’s biggest rival in the football world. Since Sunday Night Football is streamed through NBC, ProFootballTalk gets more exposure. It also doesn’t hurt that ProFootballTalk is free, while the latter is not. ProFootballTalk provides short, quick articles that can be about 200-300 words. There are a lot of regular fans that want the facts quickly and can be turned off by the long analytical articles that ESPN offers.


NFL picks feature a selection made by a panel of writers employed by ESPN. The NFL picks are made by Matt Bowen, Mike Clay, Dan Graziano, Naz Reid, Mina Kimes, Sarah Rutledge, Kevin Seifert, Seth Wickersham, Damien Woody. The ESPN picks feature a dropdown menu for each week’s picks so that you can go back and look at any weekend breakdown. Along with that, the site keeps track of the running total and their record from their NFL picks. 

In comparison to the pregame show on ESPN, this is the best spot to find knowledge on who is going to win the game. These writers are around the NFL, while Tedy Bruschi, Randy Moss, and Rex Ryan are purely analysts. They may watch films but their job is to break down the game. The writing team has inside access to everything that is going on in the daily world of the NFL, so the ESPN picks should be read by the writing team. daily

Heading into the Super Bowl, Clay, Woody, and Reid are tied with a 9-3 record with Kimes, Rutledge, and Wickersham right behind with an 8-4 record. Surprisingly, insider Dan Graziano is last in ESPN picks with a 5-7 record. During the regular season, both Kimes and Clay finished with the best record, 175-80. 

ESPN Plus free trial

Unfortunately, the answer is that ESPN Plus does not offer a free trial. The service did offer a free trial in its early stages. As the platform grew, the service retired the free trial. However, you can cancel the monthly subscription at any time and does not require a cable subscription.

How to cancel ESPN Plus

There is one easy way to cancel your subscription to ESPN Plus. You can login to your account. There, you will click on “My Subscriptions.” From there, you will go down and click on “cancel subscription.” You may also email the support team or call Customer Support (1-800-727-1800).

Frequently Asked Questions

What is ESPN Plus?

ESPN Plus is a one-stop streaming service that provides access to in-depth articles and exclusive sports coverage.

What is on ESPN Plus?

ESPN Plus offers all combat sports (UFC), college sports, cricket, rugby, soccer, golf, and tennis. 

How to cancel ESPN Plus?

You may cancel your ESPN Plus account by logging in to your account, find “My Subscriptions” and cancel your membership.

Who owns ESPN?

ESPN is jointly owned by The Walt Disney Company and Hearst Communications.