A new streaming service will bring together linear sports networks with the direct-to-consumer ESPN+ to offer fans access to sports including NFL, NBA, , MLB, NHL, NASCAR, College Sports, UFC, PGA TOUR Golf, Grand Slam Tennis and the FIFA World Cup.
The Walt Disney Company, which runs ESPN, FOX and Warner Bros. Discovery have reached an understanding on principal terms to form a new Joint Venture that would run the streamer that’s scheduled to launch this autumn.
Run through a new standalone app, subscribers would also have the ability to bundle the product, including with Disney+, Hulu and/or Max.
Sports fans would have access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SECN, ACCN, ESPNEWS, ABC, FOX, FS1, FS2, BTN, TNT, TBS, truTV, as well as ESPN+. It wants to offer a “differentiated experience” to also serve sports outside of the traditional pay-TV bundle.
ESPN, FOX and Warner Bros. Discovery plan to form a new joint venture to develop, launch and operate the bundle of linear networks and DTC sports content and services.
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.”
Each entity would own one-third of the JV, have equal board representation and license their sports content to the joint venture on a non-exclusive basis.