Yesterday, ESPN, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery announced a joint effort to launch a sports streaming platform this fall. According to the Associated Press, the offering will air games from at least 15 different leagues, including those that showcase the United States’ four biggest professional sports: football, basketball, baseball and hockey.
In a time of fragmented viewing options and rising costs for content access, this should be a welcome announcement to consumers. TV watchers have responded positively to bundles, where a single subscription grants them the ability to tune into multiple streaming platforms. (Ironically, that’s what cable was like.) Bundles reduce costs to the consumer and the time it takes for them to search through all their streaming options on a hunt for the content they want.
We’ve recently seen Amazon’s Prime Video, Apple TV and Netflix saddle up alongside legacy networks — all with streamers of their own — to broadcast sports. That meant that on any given night the game you want to watch could be found on one of more than a half-dozen platforms. If you dig multiple sports, that’s also meant setting up autopayments to quite a few streaming services.
The Future of Sports on Streaming Involves More Than Just GamesIt’s a busy category, and it’s getting busier
While the major corporations teaming up to create this sports streamer to (almost) end them all certainly stand to profit royally from this venture, it’s also a reminder that brands — even the biggest ones — are still beholden to their consumers. Every once in a while they’ll go out of their way to make life a little easier for us if enough people ask them to.
“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,” said Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav in a statement.
“We believe the service will provide passionate fans outside of the traditional bundle an array of amazing sports content all in one place,” said Fox CEO and Executive Chair Lachlan Murdoch in a statement of his own, while Bob Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Company, which owns ESPN, characterized the streamer as “a major win for sports fans.”