Former Apple and Hulu executive Pete Distad has been named CEO of the joint venture sports streaming service that will be launched this autumn in the US by ESPN, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery.

Distad worked at Apple from 2013-2023, where he was responsible for the business, operations and global distribution for video, Ssports and Apple TV+. He launched the new Apple TV in 2015, and later led teams that launched and scaled the Apple TV app, Apple TV+, and MLS Season Pass. He originally joined the company to lead product marketing for the Apple TV hardware product.

2. Pete Distad.Photo by Ben Hider.PictureGroup

Pete Distad

Source: Ben Hider, PictureGroup

His Hulu experience (2007-2013) included serving as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Distribution on the executive team. He was part of the original Hulu launch team, overseeing customer acquisition and retention, distribution and marketing.

The yet-to-be named joint venture sports platform, which was announced in February, will bring together the companies’ portfolios of sports networks and certain of their direct-to-consumer (DTC) sports services.

The paid-for service will be made available to consumers via a new app and will give access to linear US sports networks including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SECN, ACCN, ESPNEWS, ABC, FOX, FS1, FS2, BTN, TNT, TBS, truTV, as well as ESPN+.

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Based in Los Angeles, Distad will have oversight of all aspects of the joint venture, including overall strategy, distribution, marketing and sales. He will report to the joint venture’s board, which will include representatives selected by each of the three companies.

“This is an incredible opportunity to build and grow a differentiated product that will serve passionate sports fans in the US outside of the traditional pay TV bundle,” Distad said. “I’m excited to be able to pull together the industry-leading sports content portfolios from these three companies to deliver a new best-in-class service.”

ESPN, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery added in a joint statement: “Pete is an accomplished innovator and leader who has extensive experience with launching and growing new video services. We are confident he and his team will build an extremely compelling, fan-focused product for our target market.”

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