FOX, Warner Bros. Discovery and ESPN, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, will launch a new sports streaming joint venture (JV) this autumn, combining the companies’ portfolios of sports networks, certain direct-to-consumer (DTC) sports services and sports rights.
The paid-for service would be made available directly to consumers via a new app, with a new brand with an independent management team. Subscribers would also have the ability to bundle the product with Disney+, Hulu and/or Max.
ESPN, FOX and Warner Bros. Discovery would each own one-third of the JV, have equal board representation, and license their sports content to the JV on a non-exclusive basis. Further details, including pricing, will be announced at a later date.
Bob Iger, CEO 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.”
Lachlan Murdoch, Executive Chair and CEO of FOX said: “We’re pumped to bring the FOX Sports portfolio to this new and exciting platform. We believe the service will provide passionate fans outside of the traditional bundle an array of amazing sports content all in one place.”
David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, said: “At WBD, our ambition is always to connect our leading content and brands with as many viewers as possible, and this exciting joint venture and the unparalleled combination of marquee sports rights and access to the greatest sporting events in the world allows us to do just that. This new sports service exemplifies our ability as an industry to drive innovation and provide consumers with more choice, enjoyment and value and we’re thrilled to deliver it to sports fans.”
Customers would have access to the linear sports networks including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SECN, ACCN, ESPNEWS, ABC, FOX, FS1, FS2, BTN, TNT, TBS, truTV, as well as ESPN+.
The new service will showcase thousands of high-profile sporting events including, but not limited to, the NFL, UFL, NBA, WNBA, MLB, NHL, PGA Tour, PGA Championship, The Masters, TGL, Wimbledon, US Open, Australian Open, FIFA World Cup, MLS, LaLiga, Bundesliga, UFC, Formula 1, NASCAR and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.