ESPN, Fox, and Warner Brothers have announced that they will launch a joint streaming service sometime this year, dedicated to broadcasting live games across 15 networks and all big four leagues.
“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 to ESPN.
So far, 15 channels have been announced to broadcast on the service to try and make it as complete of a one-stop-shop as it can be — ESPN, ESPN+, ESPN 2, ESPNU, SEC Network, ACC Network, ESPNEWS, ABC, Fox, FS1, FS2, Big 10 Network, TNT, TBS and TruTV headline the lineup. Leagues that will be broadcasted include the NBA, NFL, NHL, WNBA, MLB, NASCAR, and college sports, like the men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments. Tennis, golf and the FIFA World Cup will also have a place there.
Consumers will be able to subscribe directly in the app and have the option to bundle the service with Disney+, Hulu, or Max. CNBC estimates that the price for the service will be anywhere between $45 and $50 a month. To pay for each of those streaming services individually (ESPN+, Fox and Warner Brothers) would total $25.98 a month (ESPN+ is $10.99/month, Fox Nation is $5.99/month and Discovery+ (ad-free) is $9.00/month).
“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 to ESPN. “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.”
Disney has been trying to find a strategic partner for ESPN for some time, with some early talks between Iger and sports leagues to come on as minority investors in the business as they look to bolster their streaming capabilities.
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