The Walt Disney Co., Fox Corp., and Warner Bros. Discovery have announced a partnership to launch a sports streaming service, bringing together the content of the three media giants under one banner. The untitled platform is poised to revolutionize the way fans watch live sports, offering a comprehensive array of channels and exclusive sports rights.
A Game-Changer For Streaming
The sports streaming service will incorporate live linear channels like ESPN, ABC, Fox, TNT, and TBS. Notably, the content from all three media giants will be available on a nonexclusive basis, allowing them to continue launching their independent offerings. The move signifies a shift towards a more inclusive and consumer-centric approach in the ever-evolving streaming landscape.
When To Expect The New Service
Scheduled to debut in the fall, just in time for the NFL season, the sports streaming service will be directly accessible to consumers. It will be offered as a bundled package along with Warner Bros. Discovery’s Max, Disney’s ESPN+, and Hulu. While pricing details are yet to be finalized, the service is expected to fall between what consumers typically pay for an individual regional sports network.
Is It More Affordable?
Those prices range from $20 to $30 per month. As such, pricing for the new sports streaming service will likely be more affordable than larger digital programming packages like Hulu + Live TV or YouTube TV, which generally cost approximately $75 to $80 per month. Official pricing should be released before the service is officially launched.
A Step In The Right Direction?
The joint sports streaming venture, with each company owning a one-third stake, marks a significant milestone in the industry. The new platform will have its own distinct brand and an independent management team, creating a synergy that aims to maximize the strengths of each media giant. Although the deal is contingent on finalizing terms, a preliminary agreement is already in place.Disney CEO Bob Iger described the collaboration as “an important step forward for the media business.” Notably absent from the sports streaming team-up are NBCUniversal and Paramount, highlighting the strategic exclusivity of this venture. NBC and Paramount boast substantial sports rights, including Sunday Night Football, NFL rights, college rights, the Olympics, and live soccer, among others.
All Your Favorites In One Place
Still, the sports streaming service promises to acquire rights to marquee events like the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, college football, NCAA March Madness basketball, FIFA World Cup, Grand Slam tennis events, UFC, Formula 1, and NASCAR. The collaboration will also mark the first time that Fox’s live sports content will be available on a streaming platform and not via the traditional cable TV model.
Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch shared his optimism, saying the sports service will provide passionate fans with a variety of amazing sports content in one place. Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav echoed the sentiment, highlighting the joint venture’s ability to drive innovation and provide consumers with more choice, enjoyment, and value.
Contrary to expectations, the new sports streaming venture is not expected to impede ESPN’s plans for a direct-to-consumer “flagship” streaming service. Instead, it is designed to complement ESPN’s offerings, resembling a “skinny bundle” focused exclusively on channels with live sports.