ESPN, FOX and Warner Bros. Discovery Forming Joint Venture to Launch Streaming Sports Service in the U.S.

ESPN Streaming

ESPN, FOX and Warner Bros. Discovery Forming Joint Venture to Launch Streaming Sports Service in the U.S.

  • Will Bring Together Sports Linear Networks and Direct-to-Consumer Service ESPN+
  • Offering to include NFL, NBA, WNBA, MLB, NHL, NASCAR, College Sports, UFC, PGA TOUR Golf, Grand Slam Tennis, the FIFA World Cup, Cycling and Much More
  • The Service will be offered through a New Standalone App, Built from the Ground Up, for the Passionate Sports Fan

ESPN, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, FOX and Warner Bros. Discovery have reached an understanding on principal terms to form a new Joint Venture (JV) to build an innovative new platform to house a compelling streaming sports service. The platform brings together the companies’ portfolios of sports networks, certain direct-to-consumer (DTC) sports services and sports – including content from all the major professional sports leagues and college sports. The formation of the pay service is subject to the negotiation of definitive agreements amongst the parties. The offering, scheduled to launch in the fall of 2024, would be made available directly to consumers via a new app. Subscribers would also have the ability to bundle the product, including with Disney+, Hulu and/or Max.

The platform would aggregate content to offer fans an extensive, dynamic lineup of sports content, aiming to provide a new and differentiated experience to serve sports fans, particularly those outside of the traditional pay TV bundle.

By subscribing to this focused, all-in-one premier sports service, fans would have access to the linear sports networks including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SECN, ACCN, ESPNEWS, ABC, FOX, FS1, FS2, BTN, TNT, TBS, truTV, as well as ESPN+.

Key Highlights:

  • ESPN, FOX and Warner Bros. Discovery would form a new joint venture to develop, launch and operate a streaming sports bundle of linear networks and certain DTC sports content and services.
  • Each entity would own one-third of the JV, have equal board representation and license their sports content to the joint venture on a non-exclusive basis.
  • The service would have a new brand with an independent management team.

Bob Iger, Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company said, “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. 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. I’m grateful to Jimmy Pitaro and the team at ESPN, who are at the forefront of innovating on behalf of consumers to create new offerings with more choice and greater value.”

Lachlan Murdoch, Executive Chair and Chief Executive Officer of FOX said, “We’re pumped to bring the FOX Sports portfolio to this new and exciting platform. We believe the service will provide passionate fans outside of the traditional bundle an array of amazing sports content all in one place.”

David Zaslav, Chief Executive Officer of Warner Bros. Discovery, said “At WBD, our ambition is always to connect our leading content and brands with as many viewers as possible, and this exciting joint venture and the unparalleled combination of marquee sports rights and access to the greatest sporting events in the world allows us to do just that. 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.”

More details, including pricing, will be announced at a later date.

The new service will showcase thousands of high-profile sporting events including:

Pro Football

NFL | UFL

Basketball

NBA | WNBA

BASEBALL

MLB

HOCKEY

NHL

COLLEGE SPORTS

Thousands of games and events, multiple sports, across nearly two dozen conferences, including:

ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Big East, SEC | 40 NCAA Championship Events |  

NCAA Men’s & Women’s Basketball Tournaments |

The College Football Playoff

Golf

PGA Tour | PGA Championship | The Masters | TGL

Grand Slam Tennis

Wimbledon | US Open | Australian Open

CYCLING

Giro d’Italia | UCI Mountain Bike World Cup | Giro Donne

Soccer

FIFA World Cup | U.S. Soccer

NWSL | MLS | LALIGA | Bundesliga | UEFA | CONCACAF

Combat Sports

UFC | Top Rank

Auto

Formula 1 | NASCAR | 24 Hours of Le Mans

-XXX-

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:

ESPN
Katina Arnold
[email protected]
+1 860.912.6643

FOX
Brian Nick
[email protected]
+1 310.369.3545

Warner Bros. Discovery / TNT Sports
Nate Smeltz
[email protected]
+1 404.827.4786

 

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

The Walt Disney Company
The terms “Company,” “we,” and “our” are used below to refer collectively to The Walt Disney Company and the subsidiaries through which its various businesses are actually conducted.

Certain statements and information in this communication may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding the Company’s expectations, beliefs, plans, strategies, business or financial prospects or outlook, the consummation of the joint venture, trends, drivers of demand, products or service offerings (including nature, timing and pricing), consumer sentiment or priorities; and other statements that are not historical in nature. These statements are made on the basis of the Company’s views and assumptions regarding future events and business performance and plans as of the time the statements are made. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update these statements unless required by applicable laws or regulations, and you should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.

Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied. Such differences may result from actions taken by the Company, including restructuring or strategic initiatives or other business decisions, as well as from developments beyond the Company’s control, including: the occurrence of subsequent events; deterioration in domestic or global economic conditions or failure of conditions to improve as anticipated; deterioration in or pressures from competitive conditions, including competition to create or acquire content; competition for talent and competition for advertising revenue; consumer preferences and acceptance of our content, offerings, pricing model and price increases, and corresponding subscriber additions and churn, and the market for advertising sales on our direct-to-consumer services and linear networks; health concerns and their impact on our businesses and productions; international, political or military developments; regulatory and legal developments; technological developments; labor markets and activities, including work stoppages; adverse weather conditions or natural disasters; and availability of content. Such developments may further affect entertainment, travel and leisure businesses generally and may, among other things, affect (or further affect, as applicable): our operations, business plans or profitability, including direct-to-consumer profitability; our expected benefits from the potential joint venture with Fox and Warners Bros. Discovery; demand for our products and services; performance of the Company’s content; our ability to create or obtain desirable content at or under the value we assign the content; the advertising market for programming; income tax expense; and performance of some or all Company businesses either directly or through their impact on those who distribute our products.

Additional factors are set forth in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 30, 2023, including under the captions “Risk Factors,” “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and “Business,” quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, including under the captions “Risk Factors” and Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” and subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


Fox Corporation
The term “Company” is used below to refer collectively to Fox Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries.

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “likely,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “projects,” “believes,” “estimates,” “outlook” and similar expressions are used to identify these forward-looking statements. These statements are based on management’s current expectations and beliefs and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Actual results may vary materially from those expressed or implied by the statements in this press release due to changes in economic, business, competitive, technological, strategic and/or regulatory factors and other factors affecting the operation of the Company’s businesses. More detailed information about these factors is contained in the documents the Company has filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2023 filed with the SEC on August 11, 2023, and subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.

Statements in this press release speak only as of the date they were made, and the Company undertakes no duty to update or release any revisions to any forward-looking statement made in this press release or to report any events or circumstances after the date of this press release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events or to conform such statements to actual results or changes in the Company’s expectations, except as required by law.


Warner Bros. Discovery
The terms “Warner Bros. Discovery,” “Company,” “we,” “us,” and “our” are used below to refer collectively to Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. and its subsidiaries.

Information set forth in this communication contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, forecasts, and assumptions that involve risks and uncertainties and on information available to Warner Bros. Discovery as of the date hereof. Actual results could differ materially from those stated or implied, including due to risks and uncertainties associated with the Company’s business, which include the risk factors disclosed in the Company’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and reports on Form 10-Q and Form 8-K.

Forward-looking statements include statements regarding the Company’s expectations, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future, and can be identified by forward-looking words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “continue,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “should,” “will” and “would” or similar words. Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements regarding future financial and operating results, the Company’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions, assumptions, projections or expectations regarding the potential joint venture with Fox and ESPN, and other statements that are not historical facts. Warner Bros. Discovery expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to disseminate any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement contained herein to reflect any change in the Company’s expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

 

Olivia Coryell

Based out of Austin, Texas, Olivia Coryell is a communications manager focusing on ESPN+, The Walt Disney Company's leading direct-to-consumer sports streaming service. In her time at ESPN, Coryell has worked on communications efforts for X Games, Brand Marketing, Corporate Citizenship, esports and more. Coryell is a proud graduate of Florida State University.
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