- On Tuesday, Warner Bros. Discovery, Walt Disney's ESPN, and Murdoch Family's Fox Corp announced plans to launch a joint sports streaming platform later this year that will provide consumers a new way to access live sports, such as the NBA, MLB, NFL and Formula 1.1
- The three US media giants will each control one-third of the newly formed company that will own the platform. Users would not just directly subscribe to the service via a new app, they could also bundle it with sibling streaming platforms Disney+, Hulu, and Max.2
- Furthermore, the new platform — which would have an independent management team — will offer content from a bundle of linear sports networks and certain direct-to-consumer services, including college sports.3
- Though its pricing will be announced later, former Fox Sports Networks President Bob Thompson expects the new streaming platform to cost over $40 monthly.4
- Meanwhile, Disney's Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger said on Wednesday that ESPN plans to launch a standalone direct-to-consumer product by next year, reportedly to regain the revenue it lost to broadband products due to so-called 'cord-cutting.'5
- Narrative A, as provided by Vulture. The new sports streaming platform is a significant win for fans looking to cut down their subscriptions and leave cable behind. Under current confines, consumers need to subscribe to a host of different services to watch their favorite sports. With the new partnership between ESPN, Fox, and Warner Bros., they can consolidate their subscriptions and gain access to all major sports. The new service will also offer access to Hulu, Disney+, and Max, allowing users to watch more than just sports.
- Narrative B, as provided by The Athletic. While the three media giants call the new sports streaming a revolutionary development, it's likely just a minor upgrade from current options that won't save consumers much money. It's important to remember that the joint venture won't have rights to major sporting events, including the Olympics. Moreover, as it's expected to cost more than YouTube TV, which essentially provides everything the new product offers, it will be difficult to predict if the 'sports skinny bundle' will be a hit.