Why Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery are betting big on streaming

Lea Hogg 1 month ago
Why Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery are betting big on streaming

Three media titans – Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery – revealed plans to launch a new sports streaming service. This venture, which caught NFL executives by surprise, could potentially include more than half of US sports rights.

The news, first reported by Joe Flint of The Wall Street Journal, has been shrouded in secrecy. The project, aptly codenamed “Raptor,” represents a significant pivot towards the future of sports broadcasting – streaming.

A seismic shift is underway. As the National Football League geared up for the Super Bowl this year, the announcement sent shockwaves through the industry.

Future of sports broadcasting

As Flint explains, these media giants are trying to adapt to a changing landscape where cable subscriber growth is dwindling, leading to reduced revenue from subscribers and advertisers. The shift to streaming is not just a trend but a necessity. For many fans, the experience of watching sports has become a complex navigation through multiple channels and platforms. From Amazon’s Thursday night football to Apple’s Friday night baseball and soccer, finding the right game on the right platform can be a challenge. And with cable subscriptions shrinking, sports networks like ESPN, owned by Disney, are feeling the pressure.

Despite having multiple platforms, including ESPN2 and ESPN News, ESPN is grappling with declining viewership and advertising revenue due to cord-cutting, rising rights fees, and increasing programming costs. The move to create a new streaming service is, in many ways, a strategic play to counter these challenges and secure the future of sports broadcasting.

The new streaming service represents a significant bet on the future of sports broadcasting. By bringing together the extensive sports rights owned by Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery, the service could offer fans a one-stop destination for their favourite sports. This could simplify the viewing experience for fans while providing a steady stream of revenue for the media companies. However, the success of this venture will depend on several factors. These include the pricing of the service, the sports rights it can secure, and its ability to deliver a high-quality, reliable streaming experience.

The media giants will also need to convince fans to add another subscription to their growing list of streaming services. In conclusion, the announcement of a new sports streaming service by Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery marks a significant milestone in the evolution of sports broadcasting. It reflects the industry’s recognition of the growing importance of streaming and its potential to shape the future of sports broadcasting. As the project moves forward, all eyes will be on how it navigates the challenges and opportunities in the rapidly changing landscape of sports broadcasting.

————-Stop Press: the next SiGMA Eurasia Summit takes place in Dubai between 25 – 27 FebruaryThe next SiGMA Africa Summit takes place in Cape Town between 11-13 March The fourth edition of SiGMA Eurasia will once again be held at the InterContinental Dubai Festival City. Held between the 25 and 27 February 2024, the summit provides invaluable networking opportunities for industry professionals, gain exposure to the latest tech and innovations in the sector, meet key decision makers, and gain insight into new marketsSiGMA Africa event kicks off in Cape Town, South Africa on the 11 March. Building on the success of its inaugural edition in Nairobi, Kenya, in January 2023, SiGMA Group recognizes the need to foster collaboration and innovation within the industry.

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