ESPN, Fox and Warner Bros. join forces on new sports streaming platform

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ESPN, Fox and Warner Bros. join forces on new sports streaming platform

Three US media giants have announced a new sports streaming platform to be launched in autumn.

Walt Disney’s ESPN, Fox Corp and Warner Bros. Discovery own a wide range of portfolios of sports rights including those for the FIFA World Cup, Formula 1 and the National Football League.

They hope to capture younger audiences and save costs.

The service would have “a new brand with an independent management team” which would be available via a new app.

Its pricing will be announced at a later date, according to their statement.

The firms say each company will own one-third of the joint venture and have equal board representation.

The announcement comes as sports leagues charge more for broadcasting rights.

Instead of just linear TV operators, the fees are increasingly split between multiple media distributors.

The product will bring sports linear networks and Disney’s direct-to-consumer ESPN+ together, according to their statement.

They added that the new joint venture aims “to serve sports fans, particularly those outside of the traditional pay TV bundle”.

Subscribers would also have the ability to bundle the product with the companies’ streaming platforms Disney+, Hulu and Max.

Bob Iger, the chief executive officer of Walt Disney called the launch “a major win for sports fans, and an important step forward for the media business”.

The boss of Fox, Lachlan Murdoch, said the service would make “an array of amazing sports content all in one place” while David Zaslav, the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery said it “exemplifies our ability as an industry to drive innovation and provide consumers with more choice, enjoyment”.

The popularity of streaming services has increased in recent years, and traditional media companies have had to invest quickly to compete with the likes of Netflix, Amazon Video and Apple TV.