In a major move for streaming TV, three of the largest media companies are teaming up for a joint venture that will offer access to every major-league sport and several others.
Disney’s ESPN, Fox Corp.’s Fox Sports and Warner Bros. Discovery’s TNT, TBS and other networks will offer a comprehensive package this fall that includes NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL games. You won’t be able to watch every game, but it’s an appealing bundle for cable cord-cutters who are sports fans.
Each company will own a third of the service, which does not yet have a name, pricing information or a specific launch date, and is subject to finalizing agreements. But it’s a further acknowledgment of the splintering of the cable bundle as more consumers gravitate to streaming. NFL games consistently top Nielsen ratings, and for several years professional sports have led other live programming as a key to preserving the cable TV ecosystem, which has lost more than 25% of its subscriber base over the past several years.
The new service will have its own dedicated management team separate from its owners, the companies said in a statement.
Analyst Michael Nathanson of MoffettNathanson called the deal the streaming “bundle we’ve been waiting for” and said in a report Tuesday that it marked “the ultimate play to take ownership of their own sports destinies, foregoing their reliance on the current distribution system.”
“The launch of this new streaming sports service is a significant moment for Disney and ESPN, a…