ESPN from Walt Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery are planning to start a joint sports streaming service this fall. This service will give people a new way to watch popular live sports for the first time, the companies announced on Tuesday.
The service will be run by a new company that will have its own leaders. The service doesn’t have a name or a price yet. Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery will each own a third of the company.
People will be able to sign up for the service through a new app. They will also have the option to combine the service with the companies’ streaming platforms Disney+, Hulu, and Max.
The service will offer a smaller selection of channels than a typical cable package, but it will be specially designed for sports fans. It will include all the broadcast and cable networks that Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery own that show sports, as well as ESPN+.
From Disney, this includes ESPN and its related networks, like ESPN2, ESPNU, SECN, ACCN, ESPNEWS, and the ABC broadcast network. The sports networks from Warner Bros. Discovery are TNT, TBS, and TruTV. Fox will include the Fox broadcast station and FS1, FS2, and BTN.
“The start of this new sports streaming service is a big moment for Disney and ESPN, a great win for sports fans, and a big step forward for the media business,” said Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney, in a statement. “This means that all the ESPN channels will be available to people along with the sports shows from other industry leaders as part of a unique sports-focused service.”
The start of the service won’t stop ESPN from offering a full streaming product directly to consumers, which Disney is still looking into, according to someone who knows about the situation. ESPN has said before that it plans to release that product this year or next year.
The companies expect to start the joint service at a time when sports media rights are becoming more valuable, but people are watching less traditional cable.
Disney, in particular, has been hurt by people moving away from its ESPN network and has been looking for new ways to make the business better, including looking for partners like the National Football League and the National Basketball League.
Soccer fans inside Zum Schneider, a traditional German bar, watch the World Cup in New York City in 2006. Image credit: Spencer Platt / Getty Images file