The future of sports is streaming… and it’s very big.
Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery and Fox are combining forces for a new sports streaming service that will include programming from ESPN, TNT and Fox Sports, TVLine has confirmed. (Our sister site Variety first reported the news.) The new standalone service is slated to debut this fall, with subscribers having access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SECN, ACCN, ESPNEWS, ABC, Fox, FS1, FS2, BTN, TNT, TBS, truTV and ESPN+. That would let subscribers watch live NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL games, along with MMA fights, NASCAR races and many more events. The app’s name and pricing are still to be determined.
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“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,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement. “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.”
Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch added: “We believe the service will provide passionate fans outside of the traditional bundle an array of amazing sports content all in one place.”
Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav chimed in as well: “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.”
The three studios would each own one-third of the new venture, which will be the biggest advance yet into the streaming game for TV sports. Paramount+ and Peacock have made NFL games on CBS and NBC available for streaming, with Peacock also hosting an exclusive NFL playoff game between the Chiefs and Dolphins last month. In October, Max began offering a sports add-on option that allows subscribers to stream MLB playoff games from TBS and NBA games from TNT. The add-on option was initially offered free for a limited time, and will remain free “for a few more months” while Max works to “finalize some tech integrations.” After that, the add-on will cost an additional $9.99 per month.
Will you fork over your hard-earned money for a sports streaming service? Hit the comments and let us know your gameplan.
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