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ESPN+ vs. MaxxSouth Broadband Television plan comparison


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Researched by
Kathryn CasnaSenior Staff Writer
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Reviewed by
Updated 4/10/23

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ESPN Plus
Staff rating
3.0
Customer rating
0.0
(0)

  • Plans starting at $9.99
  • n/a channels
MaxxSouth Broadband
Staff rating
2.7
Customer rating
5.0
(1)

  • Plans starting at $14.99
  • 55 channels
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ESPN Plus
Staff rating
3.0

ESPN+ has extra sports at an extra cost

We loved how much extra sports content ESPN+ served up, but we couldn’t get around pay-per-view fees or regional blackouts. ESPN+ won’t replace our other live streaming services or help us cut the cord, but it makes for a great add-on for fans.

What we like

  • National and international sports
  • Live game stats
  • Sports content variety
What we dislike

  • Bad for cord-cutters
  • Frequent price hikes
  • No free trial/version
Savings tip: ESPN+ often has
sign-up promotions
for first-time customers. Call to ask a rep about current deals and discounts.
Check deals
MaxxSouth Broadband
Staff rating
2.7

Lackluster TV plans might still be your best option

MaxxSouth charges a lot per channel and doesn’t deliver a ton of features. Still, there are few hidden costs and no contracts, so this provider might be your best option. And we like its unique local sports channels and internet service.

What we like

  • Few hidden costs
  • Local sports channels
  • No contracts
What we dislike

  • High cost per channel
  • Mediocre customer service
  • Minimal DVR storage
Savings tip: MaxxSouth Broadband often has
sign-up promotions
for first-time customers. Call to ask a rep about current deals and discounts.
Check deals
ESPN Plus
Content
4.0
Something for every sports fan—but it won’t solve your blackout woes

ESPN+ has tons of live (and replay) sports to stream, including NFL, UFC, multiple international soccer leagues, the US Open, PGA, X games, NHL, and a multitude of college sports, to name just a few. Some games even come with live stats and analysis when you watch them with the ESPN app. This service even helped us discover the rising Indian sport kabaddi, which is like watching adults on the playground at recess. It’s just delightful.

You’ll also get a metric ton of documentaries like the 30 for 30 and E60 series, which cover everything from Payton Manning’s life story to the history of boxing. There’s even an entire series following the Savannah Bananas, a team putting an entertaining spin on baseball (seriously, check out Banana Ball). An ESPN+ subscription also gives you access to multiple daily articles so you can read about last night’s game even if you missed it.

Unfortunately, if you’re hoping to get around regional sports fees or blackouts to watch your favorite local teams, ESPN+ won’t help you there. You have to share your location to watch certain games. And depending on the rules in your area, there’s a good chance you’ll still need to add your login credentials from a cable TV provider or another live TV streaming service like Fubo or Sling to catch the big game.

Local news, sports, and entertainment channels vary based on your location. Check out
ESPN+ channel offerings
in your area.
View plans
MaxxSouth Broadband
Content
3.0
Incredible local sports options round out an otherwise mediocre channel lineup

Depending on what you like to watch, MaxxSouth’s channels are a mixed bag. Most households will find enough family and entertainment channels, but news is a little lacking. And for being a local company, MaxxSouth’s local content isn’t great. That is, except for its local sports coverage, which is a homerun.

Local: 2/5
MaxxSouth has the top four local channels covered (NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX), plus PBS and The CW, but after that things go, well, south. You’ll miss out on Cozi, Comet, and all the local Spanish-language stations. If local channels are important to you, consider going with another provider or picking them up on an HD antenna for free.

Sports: 3/5
MaxxSouth’s national sports offerings are a mixed bag. You get a little over half of the best sport channels, including ESPN1 and 2, TNT, TBS, Fox Sports, and the Golf Channel, and you can also add the NFL Channel and NFL Red Zone for an additional monthly fee. But where this provider shines is local sports. MaxxSouth has its own regional sports network where you can see everything from high school games to community college events in HD quality. You could watch your kid hit a home run from your living room—and get a DVD of it for around $20 to relive their glory as a family later.

Family and education: 3/5
If you’re looking for family-friendly content, MaxxSouth gets the job done with the Discovery Channel, two Disney channels, Nickelodeon, Animal Planet, and National Geographic. But you’ll miss out on Nat Geo Wild, additional Nickelodeon channels, and the Smithsonian channel.

News and politics: 2.5/5
MaxxSouth’s news options are probably fine for most people. You get the basics like CNN, C-SPAN, BBC America, Fox news, and all three NBCs (NBC, MSNBC, and CNBC). But you’ll miss out on Newsmax, The Weather Channel, and in-depth financial news coverage.

Entertainment and lifestyle: 3/5
MaxxSouth delivers a decent entertainment lineup with favorites like Bravo, Lifetime, FX, and the three T’s—TBS, TLC, and TNT. You’ll also get some of the best lifestyle shows with HGTV, Food Network, and the Travel Channel. But you won’t get Magnolia, either Ion channel, the Cooking Channel, or Grit.

Local news, sports, and entertainment channels vary based on your location. Check out
MaxxSouth Broadband channel offerings
in your area.
View plans
ESPN Plus
Value
2.5
ESPN’s monopoly on tons of sports content gives it free rein for hidden costs

ESPN+ is one of the cheapest streaming apps we reviewed at just $10 per month or $100 per year. You can even bundle it with Hulu and Disney+, which helps you save more than $10 per month—making ESPN+ a sort of free add-on. You could spend just $13 for all three ($20 for commercial-free Hulu), then add an inexpensive live streaming service like fubo or YouTubeTV to cover all your bases.

Unfortunately, ESPN has a history of making it expensive to be a sports fan, and ESPN+ carries on the tradition. Since its launch in 2018, the monthly price has doubled from $5 to $10, and it comes with a ton of hidden costs that many fans don’t see coming. For starters, you won’t get any actual ESPN channels, so you’ll be disappointed if you sign up hoping to get ESPN1, 2, or 3, or other channels like ESPN U, Longhorn, SEC, or ACC. Technically, you can watch these channels from ESPN+, but you’ll still have to log in with credentials from a cable TV or other streaming provider that has these channels. Cord cutters take note: you’ll still have to pay for live TV if you want that.

Speaking of needing more credentials, you won’t get around regional sports fees or blackouts—nor will you get a discount on pay-per-view events, like numbered UFC matches. Although the ESPN+ website touts “unrivaled UFC access,” you’ll still have to cough up a whopping $75 for each pay-per-view Fight Night game on top of your ESPN+ subscription. That’s a jab to the faces of MMA fans if we ever saw one.

If you’re hoping ESPN+ will save you money on sports entertainment, you’re in for a rude awakening—especially since ESPN+ doesn’t have a free trial.

Get the best value by speaking directly with a sales rep or check your address at
ESPN+'s website.
Check address
MaxxSouth Broadband
Value
3.0
High prices and mediocre channel lineups could still be your best option due to low competition

While MaxxSouth’s internet service offers a ton of value, its TV service is way less impressive. It offers two plans: Basic has just 20+ channels, and you can get most of them for free with an HD antenna. An expanded plan gives you 100+ channels, which is also lower than mid-level plans from other providers. There is no top-tier plan, but you can add premium and sports channels for an additional cost.

Overall, MaxxSouth is expensive for what you get. While the channel lineups are average at best, you pay $1.50–$1.75 each, which is way higher than most companies. Unfortunately, most Mississippians don’t have a lot of other providers to choose from, so MaxxSouth might still be your best bet. The good news is that there are few hidden fees and no contracts to worry about.

Get the best value by speaking directly with a sales rep at 1-844-719-0032 or check your address at
MaxxSouth Broadband's website.
Check address
ESPN Plus
Usability and features
3.0
Some cool sports features, but not enough streaming features

In addition to adding exclusive content to the regular ESPN app and browser experience, ESPN+ adds some extra features like joining a fantasy league and live stats and scores for some events. But beyond that, ESPN+ doesn’t have as many features as other live streaming services—and that made it hard to use at times.

Ability to watch: Great
ESPN+ builds on the features of the regular (free) ESPN experience. So if you’ve already had the ESPN app, ESPN+ simply adds another tab for its exclusive content. The browser experience is a similar tacking-on of ESPN+ content. That meant we got all the regular ESPN features we were used to, but it was also frustrating to use compared to dedicated streaming apps.

In some formats (like our Chromecast and Samsung smart TVs), getting properly logged into the ESPN+ experience was confusing, because it wasn’t obvious which experience we were logging into: ESPN+ or regular ol’ ESPN. But after a few false starts, we got it working.

On the app, we liked that some events provided game stats and other graphics before the video when our devices were in portrait mode. It helped longtime fans get a fast glimpse of the game while multitasking, and helped the non-fans among us learn about a new sport.

Ability to record: Bad
ESPN+ lets you download some content to watch offline, but there’s no DVR capability. We were able to download some of the documentary content to watch offline, but no actual events. It was useful for calming our sports cravings on the go, but it wouldn’t satisfy us on an hours-long road trip or flight. But if we missed a live game and ESPN removed the replay, it was just gone.

Ability to find: Fine
Finding shows on ESPN+ is easier in a browser than with the app, but neither is stellar. We logged in to see the familiar ESPN website with an added ESPN+ bar at the top with all our premium content. The tabs helped us find featured content, documentaries, and live and replay events, or we could hit the Browse tab to choose a specific sport or league.

However, the Tools tab left us confused. It took us to an ad for fantasy leagues, then prompted us to sign up for ESPN+... which we clearly already had. It tried to push us into an annual subscription, and when we selected “Skip and get started,” it just took us back to the ESPN+ home screen. We were able to get onto a fantasy league using the Fantasy tab in the top (regular ESPN) navigation bar, which made the Tools tab seem completely pointless.

On the app, it got tough to find the events and shows we wanted. There’s no Live/Replay section to find currently or recently playing events. To find the kabaddi game we were looking for (a sport which is rarely in the Featured section), we had to dig around in the Browse tab for the correct league (Pro Vivo Kabaddi) to find it. There’s also no “Continue watching” section (though the browser version has it), so we had a hard time picking up where we left off. And switching between the app and the browser was annoying because ESPN+ didn’t remember our progress across platforms. It started up back at the beginning, and we’d spend several minutes trying to find our place again. Ugh.

Finally, there are no parental controls with ESPN+. While this streaming service was specific enough to quiet some of our concerns—we knew we wouldn’t log our kids in to watch cartoons and come back to find them watching a horror flick—we wanted more control over screen time and the kinds of sports content they watch. The lack of parental controls made us wary of sharing login credentials, which meant more active monitoring on our part.

Ability to share: Fine
ESPN+ doesn’t seem to be designed for sharing. It doesn’t have multiple user profiles and many events prompt you to input your location before they’ll play. The good news? ESPN+ says you get up to three simultaneous streams—but we were able to get five going at once without anyone getting kicked off. Looks like ESPN accidentally left some hidden value on the table, and we’ll take what we can get.

MaxxSouth Broadband
Equipment and features
2.5
Limited TV Everywhere and DVR features leave you with tough choices about what to watch

MaxxSouth has decent equipment, but it's a little light in the features department. While you can improve some of the experience by spending more per month, you'll still be limited by MaxxSouth's minimalist approach.

Ability to watch: Fine
MaxxSouth uses decent equipment at a decent price. Renting a TV box will cost you just $6 per month, but you’ll also have to rent a remote for $7.99 per month, which brings gear costs inline with competitors.

Like many TV services, MaxxSouth has a TV Everywhere feature that lets you watch your shows on your phone, tablet, or laptop when you’re not at home. However, it’s not an app. Instead, you have to use a browser to go to the MaxxSouth website and click around to find what you want or download each programmer’s app onto your device. The upside is you can do this with over 80 apps, from A&E to Vice. The bad news is, that’s a quick way to max out your phone’s storage, so you’ll have to pick your favorites and skip the rest.

Ability to record: Good
With MaxxSouth, you get a solid amount of storage included in your plan—90 hours. You can get up to 500 hours, but you’ll have to purchase them for $5 per month for every additional 50 hours. You’d spend more than $40 to max that out. Yikes!

If you rely on your trusty DVR to catch a lot of shows simultaneously, you’ll be disappointed. With MaxxSouth, you can record only one show at a time, so you’ll be forced to choose a favorite during primetime.

Ability to find: Fine
Finding shows you want to watch is harder than it should be. MaxxSouth doesn’t have a voice remote, so you’ll have to dig through the channel guide, on-demand library, and your DVR recordings manually. Parental controls are fairly customizable and easy to set up, but you’ll have to create—and remember—a second pin if you want to block purchases.

Features and equipment may vary based on package. Visit
MaxxSouth Broadband's website
or call 1-844-719-0032 for more information.
ESPN Plus
Customer experience
2.5
Lack of transparency and cancelation challenges, but mostly helpful service representatives

The ESPN+ website is overall very usable, but we’d like to see clearer pricing right away. You have to click the tiny print for terms or scroll down to the bottom and open an accordion to find out how much a subscription costs. If you miss these clues, you’ll have to give ESPN+ your email address before you know how much the service even costs.

Getting help is easy—at least, after you scroll to the bottom of the ESPN+ website homepage again. There, you’ll find step-by-step instructions and troubleshooting tips, videos, and contact options—including a live chat option. There’s even an entire section for troubleshooting UFC PPV events—though our biggest takeaway here was to purchase an event on the app at least 30 minutes before the event, or it may not go through the Apple Store or Google Play before the event starts.

Generally, people seem to like ESPN+ customer service representatives. However, many users seem to have trouble canceling their subscriptions, especially if they purchased it through a third party like Apple or Verizon. Some went as far as freezing or canceling a credit card to make the monthly fees stop, but most customers were able to cancel in a few minutes if they used live chat to talk to a representative. As for us, we purchased our subscription through a browser directly on the ESPN+ website and could easily cancel the same way.

Visit ESPN+'s website
or call for more information on contracts and money-back guarantees.
Go to provider
MaxxSouth Broadband
Customer experience
2.5
Patience and persistence will give you the best experience

The MaxxSouth experience is mostly fine, but we’d like to see some improvement. It has live chat, 24/7 phone support, and a decent amount of self-help resources on its website and YouTube channel… if you’re willing to sort through it. We didn’t like that we couldn’t order TV service online like we could with MaxxSouth’s internet service. Customers report that MaxxSouth works hard to resolve any issues—if you’re persistent and contact them multiple times.

Professional installation runs a super-low $20 for most setups, but there’s no self-setup option. That means you’ll have to wait for an appointment before you get up and running. But with such a low cost, we’re happy to white-knuckle it through a TV cleanse for a few days (or carefully plan to cancel our old provider around MaxxSouth’s schedule).

Visit MaxxSouth Broadband's website
or call 1-844-719-0032 for more information on contracts and money-back guarantees.
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ESPN+
0.0
(0)
5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
MaxxSouth Broadband
5.0
(1)
5 Star
100%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
T
Tajariafrom Baton Rouge , LA
MaxxSouth Broadband Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 9/9/2022
Everything is really good
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