Sports fans looking to simplify their streaming options in a world that is moving away from cable will have a new option later this year. On Tuesday afternoon, Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery announced that they would be creating a joint venture to “develop, launch and operate a streaming sports bundle of linear networks” and some direct-to-consumer “sports content and services” in the US.
The new service, which will be equally owned by each of the three companies, will be pulling sports content from each of their respective networks. This includes Disney’s stable of ABC and ESPN channels (including ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU), Fox’s offerings (Fox, FS1, FS2) as well as Warner Bros. Discovery’s (TNT, TBS, TruTV).
College conference networks like the ACC Network, Big Ten Network and SEC Network are included, as is ESPN Plus.
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There’s no name or pricing for the new service, though it’s “scheduled to launch in the fall of 2024” and would be available in a new app. A bundle with “Disney Plus, Hulu and/or Max” is also mentioned in the press release announcing the news, though details on what such a bundle would look like are similarly not yet known.
Also missing from this new venture are Comcast’s NBC and Paramount’s CBS, which air major sporting events including NFL games, college sports and the Olympics.
As cord-cutting of traditional cable and satellite TV packages has accelerated, being able to watch live sports has become increasingly complex particularly as games get pushed to different channels, apps and streaming services.
Last year, a Yankees fan living in New York, for example, needed to subscribe to a variety of services to be able to catch all their games: the YES Network (for the bulk of local games), Apple TV Plus (for Friday Night Baseball), Peacock (for Sunday exclusive games), Amazon’s Prime Video (for some exclusive games) as well as still keeping a cable package that gets ESPN (for Sunday Night Baseball), TBS, Fox and FS1.
While this new joint venture won’t remove all of the complications of a modern sports fan, games that air on any of these major networks will be available on this platform. This includes NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB contests as well as several other sports including UFC, WNBA, NASCAR, PGA Tour Golf, Grand Slam Tennis, the FIFA World Cup and college sports.