ESPN, FOX and Warner Bros. Discovery Form Joint Venture to Launch Streaming Sports Service in the U.S.

ESPN, FOX and Warner Bros. Discovery Form Joint Venture to Launch Streaming Sports Service in the U.S.

Three major media players — Disney / ESPN, Fox Corp. and Warner Bros. Discovery — have announced a new joint venture to create a streaming sports bundle that will offer fans an extensive and dynamic lineup of sports content, including content from all the major professional sports leagues and college sports1. The service, scheduled to launch in the fall of 2024, will be offered directly to consumers via a new app and will also be available as an add-on via services like Disney+, Hulu and Max.

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Each entity will own one-third of the joint venture, have equal board representation and license their sports content to the joint venture on a non-exclusive basis. The service will have a new brand with an independent management team. Bob Iger, Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company, said, “The launch of this new streaming sports service is a significant moment for Disney and ESPN, a major win for sports fans, and an important step forward for the media business. This means the full suite of ESPN channels will be available to consumers alongside the sports programming of other industry leaders as part of a differentiated sports-centric service. I’m grateful to Jimmy Pitaro and the team at ESPN, who are at the forefront of innovating on behalf of consumers to create new offerings with more choice and greater value.”

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The price of the streaming sports bundle is still unknown, but analysts predict it will cost more than $40 per month. The bundle will also have some significant gaps in coverage, such as the sports rights owned by Paramount Global/CBS (NFL, NCAA March Madness, UEFA) and Comcast/NBCUniversal (Olympics, NFL “Sunday Night Football,” Premier League, college football, PGA). However, if it succeeds, the sports streaming service announced by Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery could knock competitors off balance, deal a body blow to the teetering cable ecosystem, and generate lucrative revenue streams for the three partners.

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Source : The Athletic

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