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New sports streaming service - basketball and soccer ball
Mar 07, 2024

Could a sports streaming service spell cable television’s final chapter

Dayna Lang
Author Dayna Lang

There is a new sports streaming service coming down the line and fans couldn’t be more excited. A new venture from ESPN (a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company), FOX, and Warner Bros. Discovery is claiming to transform sports streaming.

The trio of sports entertainment giants is teaming up to “build an innovative new platform to house a compelling streaming sports service” according to ESPN’s newsroom. This should be an amazing opportunity for advertisers. 

Sports broadcasting is one of the last pillars of linear TV. The NFL remains one of the most profitable broadcasts in the US, making up 93% of the most-watched broadcasts on TV in 2023. Even with most TV viewers switching to on-demand streaming services, cable TV has had a hero in sports entertainment. 

This fractures the streaming landscape. Most sports fans keep one foot in the linear TV loop to ensure they don’t miss a game since existing sports streaming services are limited.

In recent years there has been a feeding frenzy, with several companies (such as DAZN, Netflix, and AppleTV) vying to pull sports fully into the streaming market. 

While this new streaming service is still unnamed, there is a list of current sports channels it will carry – and it’s a long one. The platform is designed to be an all-in-one premier sports service, offering access to SPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SECN, ACCN, ESPNEWS, ABC, FOX, FS1, FS2, BTN, TNT, TBS, truTV, and ESPN+ all for a single subscription.

This is a game-changer. 

Tapping into the growing sports streaming market 

This move from ESPN, FOX, and Warner Bros. Discovery brilliantly taps into a growing sports market – one that is expected to see 162.4 million viewers in 2024 and will grow to a whopping 165.4 million viewers by 2027. 

Live Sports viewers 2023-2027

By bundling three networks into one, this new streaming service aims to please, attracting sports viewers from across the country – every team, from every sport, from every city.

While pricing information hasn’t officially been released, a CNBC report, citing sources claims that the service will be $40 or more per month. If the price fits expectations, then this service is slated to soar. 

The overlapping broadcasting rights of the partners involved also means that subscribers would have access to both professional leagues (like the NFL, NHL, MLB, and NBA) and college sports as well.  

Bob Iger, CEO 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.” (check out our piece on how women’s pro sports are climbing and how advertisers are racing for gold)

Advertisers should keep their eye on the ball in the coming months, and stand ready to add sports broadcasts to their connected TV (CTV) strategies. This service will bring new audiences and new opportunities to the world of streaming advertising. 

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