If what you’ve been missing from your life is yet another streaming service — well, too bad. Fox Corp., ESPN, and Warner Bros. Discovery are “creating a joint streaming platform to share sports assets.” The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
The new service would be available to subscribers of ESPN+ and Hulu — both of which are owned by Disney — and Max, which is the umbrella service that is home to all things Warner Bros. (which includes such storied brands as CNN and HBO, in addition to WB movies and television shows.
Pricing — as well as a name for the combination service — were not announced. But WSJ says that the new service would launch in 2024.
The move is more than a little incestuous given that Disney in 2019 purchased 21st Century Fox, which also landed it a 30 percent stake in Hulu. Disney then purchased the remaining Hulu shares in late 2023.
The news dropped a day before Disney was set to announce earnings for the first quarter of fiscal year 2024. And this is exactly the sort of bombshell that Disney CEO Bob Iger has a habit of announcing on earnings calls. Fox Corp. also is set to announce earnings on February 6. Warner Bros. Discovery announces its Q4 2023 earnings on February 23.
It’s not yet clear whether the newly created service would use the tech stack from ESPN+ or Hulu, or that of Max — or whether it would be something entirely new. Presumably the sports service would leverage one of those existing properties given the timing of the announcement and the reported go-live timeframe of 2024.