ESPN, FOX, Warner Bros to launch standalone streaming app

LogansDad

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Oh good. I am sure this will somehow make it harder for me to watch the sports I pay hundreds of dollars a year to see.
 

ifmanis5

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View: https://twitter.com/xpangler/status/1754990761760723295

Disney CEO Bob Iger: “This means the full suite of ESPN channels will be available to consumers alongside the sports programming of other industry leaders as part of a differentiated sports-centric service" https://variety.com/2024/tv/news/warner-fox-espn-streaming-spots-joint-venture-1235900161/… via @variety

The three media giants are slated to launch the new service in the fall. Subscribers would get access to linear sports networks including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SECN, ACCN, ESPNEWS, ABC, Fox, FS1, FS2, BTN, TNT, TBS, truTV and ESPN+, as well as hundreds of hours from the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL and many top college divisions. Pricing will be announced at a later date.
 

kfoss99

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Can this cost materially less than cable? Aren't the rights fees to air professional sports a big driver of cable prices?
 

bosox4283

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Would this move mean that the Disney package would lose ESPN+? I don't really follow. I enjoy having Hulu and ESPN+ in one package.
 

The Mort Report

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What would this do to a game like the Bs tonight? It's on ESPN+ out of market, so if you have + would you lose this stream to the new app? I've always found it weird they haven't combined Hulu, D+ and ESPN+ apps into one and just have each something like an add on, but this will surely overlap with that bundle. Do they get gobbled up into the new add and are treated like add ons there?
 

GeorgeCostanza

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Would this move mean that the Disney package would lose ESPN+? I don't really follow. I enjoy having Hulu and ESPN+ in one package.
I’m in your boat and just as confused as shit about the whole thing. Hulu is basically my “cable”, get my hbo through it. If I have to use the god forsaken TNT app for some reason I “login with provider” and use my Hulu. Am I now going to have to get yet another stupid ass subscription just to watch Kenny Chuck and Shaq not really analyze games at halftime of Celtics/bucks?

and what in word salad Christ is he on about here?

“ESPN channels will be available to consumers alongside the sports programming of other industry leaders as part of a differentiated sports-centric service”

Someone explain it to me like an idiot, because I am.
 

Ale Xander

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I’m in your boat and just as confused as shit about the whole thing. Hulu is basically my “cable”, get my hbo through it. If I have to use the god forsaken TNT app for some reason I “login with provider” and use my Hulu. Am I now going to have to get yet another stupid ass subscription just to watch Kenny Chuck and Shaq not really analyze games at halftime of Celtics/bucks?

and what in word salad Christ is he on about here?

“ESPN channels will be available to consumers alongside the sports programming of other industry leaders as part of a differentiated sports-centric service”

Someone explain it to me like an idiot, because I am.
The idiot isn't you, it's the writers and editors.
 

8slim

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There will be a new subscription service and app, let’s call it Sportsiness.

Sportsiness will have all of the sports programming that’s on the ESPN cable networks (including ABC, ACC network and SEC network), everything on the Fox networks (FOX, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network), and everything on the Warner Bros. networks (TNT, TBS).

Sportsiness will also include the streaming-only sports content that lives ESPN+ and Max.

All of this will be available for a monthly subscription of, say, $39.99 a month.

If you currently have ESPN+ or Max your subscription will continue on just like to does today. If you want to end that subscription and pay for Sportsiness, go for it.

I think that’s what’s going to occur.
 

nattysez

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There will be a new subscription service and app, let’s call it Sportsiness.

Sportsiness will have all of the sports programming that’s on the ESPN cable networks (including ABC, ACC network and SEC network), everything on the Fox networks (FOX, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network), and everything on the Warner Bros. networks (TNT, TBS).

Sportsiness will also include the streaming-only sports content that lives ESPN+ and Max.

All of this will be available for a monthly subscription of, say, $39.99 a month.

If you currently have ESPN+ or Max your subscription will continue on just like to does today. If you want to end that subscription and pay for Sportsiness, go for it.

I think that’s what’s going to occur.
Agreed. I assume the idea here is that the user who says "the only reason I even subscribe to cable/YouTubeTV/Hulu/Fubu is for sports" will willingly pay for a sports-only service if it's cheaper than cable/YouTubeTV/Hulu/Fubu. I'm not sure I buy it (figuratively or literally).
 

kenneycb

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No. And it's not that close. Fubo has 191 channels and a ton of non-sports ones (Food Network, MSNBC, and Oxygen to choose a random sampling).
 

8slim

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Agreed. I assume the idea here is that the user who says "the only reason I even subscribe to cable/YouTubeTV/Hulu/Fubu is for sports" will willingly pay for a sports-only service if it's cheaper than cable/YouTubeTV/Hulu/Fubu. I'm not sure I buy it (figuratively or literally).
The challenge is that without NBCU/Peacock, CBS/Paramount and Amazon, most fans will still need to subscribe to other services to follow a league or conference. Plus it doesn’t sound like they’ll have the live games that appear on the various league networks either.

And the price point is going to be high.

So of this thing goes for $35-40 a month, and you still need to plunk down another $20+ to round out your sports lineup, the $70 cost for YouTube TV doesn’t seem so bad.
 

Murderer's Crow

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The challenge is that without NBCU/Peacock, CBS/Paramount and Amazon, most fans will still need to subscribe to other services to follow a league or conference. Plus it doesn’t sound like they’ll have the live games that appear on the various league networks either.

And the price point is going to be high.

So of this thing goes for $35-40 a month, and you still need to plunk down another $20+ to round out your sports lineup, the $70 cost for YouTube TV doesn’t seem so bad.
and $80 for internet.

Add taxes and you're paying more than cable and probably getting less.
 
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Van Everyman

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and $80 for internet.

Add taxes and you're paying more than cable and probably getting less.
I’m assuming people are already paying for internet?

But agreed this doesn’t feel like a great deal. YouTube TV is a pretty good package but even there, you don’t get NESN. So come spring when baseball starts, I'm going to have to figure out whether I pop for that.

I feel like it’s going to be awhile before the whole cable vs. cord cutting shakes out. The streaming platforms aren’t profitable right now.
 

Gdiguy

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What would this do to a game like the Bs tonight? It's on ESPN+ out of market, so if you have + would you lose this stream to the new app? I've always found it weird they haven't combined Hulu, D+ and ESPN+ apps into one and just have each something like an add on, but this will surely overlap with that bundle. Do they get gobbled up into the new add and are treated like add ons there?
I think they're in the early phases of merging Hulu into D+; this seems like phase 2 of that plan, which is to jettison ESPN+

I’m assuming people are already paying for internet?

But agreed this doesn’t feel like a great deal. YouTube TV is a pretty good package but even there, you don’t get NESN. So come spring when baseball starts, I'm going to have to figure out whether I pop for that.

I feel like it’s going to be awhile before the whole cable vs. cord cutting shakes out. The streaming platforms aren’t profitable right now.
I think what we're actually heading towards is basically 'cable', except 'cable' meaning 'a $100/month package where you get the streaming platforms from Disney, Paramount, WB, etc' (so, basically cable without the cable company middleman).

Other than the obvious anti-competitive issue, the appeal here is obvious - instead of competing with each other to sign increasingly insane sports deals, now ABC/FOX/WB can basically compete as a group for those deals.
 

BringBackMo

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I’m assuming people are already paying for internet?

But agreed this doesn’t feel like a great deal. YouTube TV is a pretty good package but even there, you don’t get NESN. So come spring when baseball starts, I'm going to have to figure out whether I pop for that.

I feel like it’s going to be awhile before the whole cable vs. cord cutting shakes out. The streaming platforms aren’t profitable right now.
Fubo has NESN and the local NBC sports channel that has the Celtics broadcasts. It’s pricey but it’s really the only option short of cable.

The problem with this new app is that it doesn’t appear to offer the local teams. With them at 40 bucks a month it‘s gold. Without them it’s nothing. It’s a solution for these struggling sports broadcasting organizations but not for the viewing public.
 

Van Everyman

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Fubo has NESN and the local NBC sports channel that has the Celtics broadcasts. It’s pricey but it’s really the only option short of cable.
Thanks, that is good to know. Looks like Fubo is $10 more a month than YouTube TV.

The problem with each of these packages is that they are lacking some kind of basic basic cable stuff (like Fubo doesn’t have AMC in my area, which I was watching on YTTV last night). So the only way to get all the channels you had under cable is to … have cable.
 

8slim

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Let's say you are a Boston sports fan but are living in St. Louis. Wouldn't you have to pay for several services, or is there one package where you can see the Sox, B's, C's, and Pats?
You’ll still need MLB.tv, NFL Sunday Ticket, NBA League Pass and ESPN+ to watch the majority of games. You’ll just get the national games with this new service.
 

Comfortably Lomb

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I feel like it’s going to be awhile before the whole cable vs. cord cutting shakes out. The streaming platforms aren’t profitable right now.
I feel like I'm being training to just not watch a lot of this stuff.

At least with this particular package you're just paying for sports at the moment. With cable, if you just want the handful of channels broadcasting sports, you're also paying for high volumes of garbage you're never going to put on screen. The MAX model of shoveling mountains of worthless crap along with the actual good product (HBO), pretending all that junk has any value whatsoever, seems to be the future again though. We'll see how it shakes out. There are so many more entertainment options than 20+ years ago.
 

Trapaholic

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I do not have cable, and I use Fubo for live sports. It has NESN too, which is nice. The glaring weak spot is that they do not carry TNT or TBS. When the Celtics have a primetime game, and for most playoff games, they don't carry it. It is a big drawback for sure, but I usually just walk down to a neighborhood bar to watch those.

I believe the Fubo subscription that I have is about $75ish a month? It also has a few hundred other "basic cable" channels. I would be interested to see what the price point of this new service is, and if there are differing bundles or levels of service.
 

BringBackMo

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Let's say you are a Boston sports fan but are living in St. Louis. Wouldn't you have to pay for several services, or is there one package where you can see the Sox, B's, C's, and Pats?
It's unclear to me that this new service will actually offer these games. Other than the occasional nationally televised games, the only way to watch the Sox, C's, and B's is to have NESN and NBC SportsBoston. If this new service doesn't include RSNs then it will be useless to those of us who primarily watch our local teams.
 

CR67dream

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I do not have cable, and I use Fubo for live sports. It has NESN too, which is nice. The glaring weak spot is that they do not carry TNT or TBS. When the Celtics have a primetime game, and for most playoff games, they don't carry it. It is a big drawback for sure, but I usually just walk down to a neighborhood bar to watch those.
I am a Fubo guy too, NESN and NBCSportsBoston are musts, but I also subscribe to Max, and besides being pretty good overall, I get all the TNT sports programming through it as well. Definitely a great bonus that I was not aware of until after signing up for Max.
 

Van Everyman

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I do not have cable, and I use Fubo for live sports. It has NESN too, which is nice. The glaring weak spot is that they do not carry TNT or TBS. When the Celtics have a primetime game, and for most playoff games, they don't carry it. It is a big drawback for sure, but I usually just walk down to a neighborhood bar to watch those.

I believe the Fubo subscription that I have is about $75ish a month? It also has a few hundred other "basic cable" channels. I would be interested to see what the price point of this new service is, and if there are differing bundles or levels of service.
Right. And for $70/mo., YouTube TV has TBS, Fox, NBC SportsBoston, ESPN, … but no NESN.

One option this spring is to pop for the NESN streaming option at (gulp) $329.99/yr or $29.99/mo.

A cheaper option if you don’t care about the Bruins is MLB TV is $149.99 per year but $129.99 if you only want a single team like the Red Sox.

What other options am I missing?
 

BringBackMo

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I am a Fubo guy too, NESN and NBCSportsBoston are musts, but I also subscribe to Max, and besides being pretty good overall, I get all the TNT sports programming through it as well. Definitely a great bonus that I was not aware of until after signing up for Max.
I thought it was like a separate $15/month add-on for that sports package on Max. Is it actually free?

EDIT: Looks like there is a free trial period then it's $10 a month.
 

CR67dream

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I pay just for Max, no add ons, but I get it through Amazon Prime, not sure if that makes a difference. 15.99/mo total. Just double checked no separate billing for the sports.
 

BringBackMo

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I pay just for Max, no add ons, but I get it through Amazon Prime, not sure if that makes a difference. 15.99/mo total. Just double checked no separate billing for the sports.
OK, mystery solved. It looks like the $10.99/month add-on starts this March.

For those that may be interested, here is what you apparently get with the package on Max:
Which live sports will Max carry?
Per the release from Warner Bros. Discovery Sports, the new B/R Sports add-on package will include:

  • MLB postseason coverage, starting with the National League Division Series on Oct. 7
  • 60 live NHL regular season games starting Oct. 11 with the Chicago Blackhawks vs. Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings vs. Colorado Avalanche
  • 65 live NBA regular season games starting Oct. 24 with the Denver Nuggets vs. Log Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns vs. Golden State Warriors
  • The first NBA In-Season Tournament starting Nov. 14
  • The 2024 NBA All-Star Game and All-Star Saturday night
  • The NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1
  • The 2024 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball championship starting in March 2024
  • 2024 MLB regular season coverage starting in April 2024
  • The 2024 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs and NBA Playoffs both starting in April 2024
  • U.S. Men's and Women's National Soccer team matches, including the 2024 SheBelieves Cup
 

JCizzle

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According to Deadline Bob Eiger said today the app won't launch until 2025 which is different from the initial reports of later this year.
https://deadline.com/2024/02/disney-espn-streaming-launch-date-bob-iger-1235818372/
Disney CEO Bob Iger says ESPN‘s bulked-up streaming service will launch in the fall of 2025, or possibly even as soon as late-August of that year.
It sounds like a separate service. This all makes no sense to me. Why recreate ESPN + and Hulu? lol
 

kenneycb

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Because ESPN alone is missing a lot of sports people want to watch.

Edit: Misread the linked article as well. Sounds like that plus the bundle is a have your cake and eat it too.
 

ifmanis5

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It sounds like a separate service. This all makes no sense to me. Why recreate ESPN + and Hulu? lol
Oh you're right, I got the two confused. I guess this is just the new rebranding of ESPN/Hulu. I don't get why they would do that after making the other deal.
 

8slim

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It sounds like a separate service. This all makes no sense to me. Why recreate ESPN + and Hulu? lol
It is a separate service. If you want a cable-like service that has entertainment, news and sports then you get Hulu with Live TV for $75 a month.

If you want just sports networks from Disney, Fox and WBD then you get this new thing for $50.
 

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I think they're in the early phases of merging Hulu into D+; this seems like phase 2 of that plan, which is to jettison ESPN+



I think what we're actually heading towards is basically 'cable', except 'cable' meaning 'a $100/month package where you get the streaming platforms from Disney, Paramount, WB, etc' (so, basically cable without the cable company middleman).

Other than the obvious anti-competitive issue, the appeal here is obvious - instead of competing with each other to sign increasingly insane sports deals, now ABC/FOX/WB can basically compete as a group for those deals.
At this point, what's stopping the NFL, the NBA, the Premier League etc from launching their own streaming services and cutting out the middle man? I am guessing the same thing that happened with content producers and netflix will happen here.

Personally, I cannot stand the idea of having to track multiple streaming subscriptions.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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At this point, what's stopping the NFL, the NBA, the Premier League etc from launching their own streaming services and cutting out the middle man? I am guessing the same thing that happened with content producers and netflix will happen here.

Personally, I cannot stand the idea of having to track multiple streaming subscriptions.
What’s stopping them is that the middle man pay them billions of dollars to rent those rights. They aren’t giving that up. There’s a reason that the league owned networks don’t air games of any consequence.
 

TomRicardo

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At this point, what's stopping the NFL, the NBA, the Premier League etc from launching their own streaming services and cutting out the middle man? I am guessing the same thing that happened with content producers and netflix will happen here.

Personally, I cannot stand the idea of having to track multiple streaming subscriptions.
Those leagues don't have the structure within their own organizations to create, maintain, market, and manage those apps and they don't want to make the capital investment to create that. MLB is a lot bigger and more organized than the other sports leagues. NHL and MLS are closer to them than the rest.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Those leagues don't have the structure within their own organizations to create, maintain, market, and manage those apps and they don't want to make the capital investment to create that. MLB is a lot bigger and more organized than the other sports leagues. NHL and MLS are closer to them than the rest.
MLB is not bigger than the NFL or NBA, though. A league will only air games itself if it can’t sell those rights for a lot more.

NFL sells the rights to its 280 odd games for like $11bn a year. So that’s roughly $39M per game it gets paid by those who licenses its games too. Every game they air on their own foregoes significant revenue that they can’t make up.l with affiliate fees or ads. They will continue to air a handful of games a year to justify whatever affiliate fees they get from cable providers but generally it’s the 930 AM games for Germany.

(Actually, the rights fee per game estimate is also too low since it should really be calculated based on the # windows . Many of FOX or CBS Sunday afternoon windows are more like 5-6 games at once).
 
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