ESPN shifts majority of NBA content behind paywall

A general view of the NBA logo on a court.

ESPN announced it was moving much of its written content behind a paywall and Monday was the day it began. That included much of the network’s content from most of its top NBA writers.

A quick look at the ESPN pro basketball home page revealed that content produced prior to Monday remained free. So it’s likely to make the change gradually.

Also, investigative stories and other forms of straight news reporting will remain free, ESPN said in a statement.

“Beginning Nov. 9, the stellar collection of talented ESPN+ writers will expand, with ESPN+ subscribers having exclusive access to the insider perspective, analysis and insight-driven work by some of the most recognized experts and in the industry,” the statement read.

For the most part, the work of the following NBA writers will be moved behind the paywall — Malika Andrews, Kevin Arnovitz, Kirk Goldberry, Baxter Holmes, Zach Lowe, Jackie MacMullan, Ramona Shelburne, Andre Snellings and Brian Windhorst.

The release made no mention of moving content from top newsbreaker Adrian Wojnarowski or respected Los Angeles Lakers reporter Dave McMenamin to ESPN+ on a regular basis.

ESPN+ already included the work of NBA analyst/writer Kevin Pelton and draft experts Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz.

A subscription to ESPN+ includes both written and streaming content and costs $5.99 a month, or $49.99 annually. Disney, which owns ESPN, also offers a “bundle” package of ESPN+ with Hulu and Disney Plus for $12.99 a month.

“Awful Announcing has heard that some writers are concerned about their articles being paywalled once the initiative was disclosed,” Ian Casselberry of Awful Announcing wrote. “Uncertainty over how a transition to premium content might affect their work compelled them to reach out to other outlets.”

About the Author

Sam Amico
Sam Amico is the founder and senior writer of Amico Hoops. He has covered the NBA on a full-time basis for both Sports Illustrated and FOX Sports, and has been a regular contributor to CBS Sports, the Boston Herald and

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