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ESPN launches new streaming app, vows not to abandon TV roots

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios 

ESPN will officially launch new direct-to-consumer streaming service within the ESPN app Thursday called ESPN+, paving the way for the company's digital transformation.

Why it matters: The move is the company's biggest step yet to offer something directly, rather than via pay TV operators. And while the new service is meant to be the rebirth of ESPN for the digital age, ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro is adamant that the new service is meant to be an extension of the brand, not a replacement to its waning linear television business.