NATIONAL NEWS

ESPN, Fox, Warner Brothers Discovery announce plans to launch sports streaming platform in the fall

Feb 6, 2024, 2:40 PM

ESPN, Fox and Warner Brothers Discovery announced plans on Tuesday to launch a sports streaming platform in the fall that will include offerings from at least 15 networks and all four major professional sports leagues.

A one-stop app to view most sports should be a welcome sight for fans, who continue to navigate rising costs by subscribing to multiple services.

“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,” Warner Brothers Discovery CEO David Zaslav said in a statement.

The three companies will each share one-third ownership in the joint venture. A name for the service and pricing will be announced at a later date.

The platform will include games from the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, WNBA, NASCAR and college sports, including Men’s and Women’s March Madness, as well as golf, tennis and the FIFA World Cup.

It will include offerings from 15 linear networks — ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SEC Network, ACC Network, ESPNEWS, ABC, FOX, FS1, FS2, Big Ten Network, TNT, TBS, truTV — and ESPN+.

Subscribers would also have the ability to bundle the product with Disney+, Hulu and/or Max.

“We believe the service will provide passionate fans outside of the traditional bundle an array of amazing sports content all in one place,” Fox CEO and Executive Chair Lachlan Murdoch said in a statement.

The announcement of the bundle also comes as ESPN and Warner Brothers Discovery are preparing to enter negotiations to renew their NBA rights, which expire at the end of next season.

ESPN has also been searching for strategic partners as it prepares to launch a direct-to-consumer product in the next year or two.

“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,” Walt Disney Company 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.”

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AP sports: https://apnews.com/sports

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