ESPN, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery plan to consolidate all of their sports content onto one streaming platform, according to an exclusive report from The Wall Street Journal.
The service offers sports assets from all three companies. according to In the journal.
These assets include a wide range of rights covering virtually every major sport and league. NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, you name it. Hey, if you want to watch badminton, snooker Probably here too.
The as-yet-unnamed service will launch later this year and will be available as a standalone product or bundled with Disney+, Hulu, and HBO's Max, the publication said.
This is a truly earth-shattering move for the sports content business, which is becoming increasingly expensive for both content providers and customers. (Related: Grab your pitchforks, NFL fans: NFL streaming playoff game ratings are set and we're all doomed)
Consumers who've been banging their heads against the wall trying to buy a Peacock to watch NFL playoff games or finding Apple TV+ just to watch their favorite slugger's baseball game on Friday night are no longer watching sports. On the surface, the move may be welcomed, given that it is likely to make it easier to watch games. It has become much more convenient.
But as Pops always said, there's no such thing as a free lunch. Something has to give here, and I think it comes at a cost.Current cost of a package that combines the basic versions of all major streamers covering sports — Apple TV+, Peacock, Max, ESPN+, Amazon Prime Video — The total will be between $55 and $60. If this new service were a little cheaper, it might be worth it, but I'm very skeptical that it will be.
In a world where young viewers are leaving traditional linear media in droves for more curated, readily available, short-form content on platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok, sports are becoming increasingly popular on cable. For advertisers, it's the last bastion of DVR-free programming. Live sports advertising is worth its weight in gold. Every move these giant media conglomerates make will be inexorably tied to profit. I'm not saying don't get excited. Being able to enjoy literally all live sports in one place is an attractive possibility.
All I'm saying is it's not cold outside, guys. In a rapidly changing media landscape, these big decisions have the potential to shape the future of sports entertainment experiences. Hopefully they don't screw this up and turn our last sanctuary of escapism into a flesh-fueled nightmare.