Venu Sports Is Name of New Streamer from ESPN, FOX, WBD

Venu Sports (pronounced “venue”) has been selected as the name of the new streaming joint venture launching this fall from Disney/ESPN, Fox Corporation and Warner Bros. Discovery. Although pricing has yet to be announced (some estimate it will run $40-$50 per month), the partners are underway in branding their bundled package, unveiled in February as an effort to reach sports fans who don’t already subscribe to pay TV. In March the group announced the new venture’s CEO would be Pete Distad, who spent six years at Hulu followed by a decade at Apple in positions including running global distribution and business ops for Apple TV+. Continue reading Venu Sports Is Name of New Streamer from ESPN, FOX, WBD

Apple Sports App Provides Stats, Real-Time Scores and More

Apple Sports is a new free app for iPhones that delivers real-time scores, stats and more via a GUI designed by Apple. Available to download from the App Store in the U.S., Canada and UK, the app currently tracks Major League Soccer, Premier League soccer, the National Basketball Association, men’s and women’s NCAA basketball, and the National Hockey League, among others. More sports will be added over time, Apple said, mentioning Major League Baseball and the National Football League. The concept is designed to keep fans continuously connected to their favorite teams while driving Apple TV tune-in. Continue reading Apple Sports App Provides Stats, Real-Time Scores and More

Disney, FOX, WBD Finalizing a New Sports Streaming Venture

FOX, Warner Bros. Discovery and The Walt Disney Company through its subsidiary ESPN are finalizing plans to form a new, multi-league sports streaming service expected to launch this fall. The direct-to-consumer offering would be made available via a new app and subscriptions could also be bundled with existing services like Disney+, Hulu and Max. The media companies launching the joint venture — who will each have one-third ownership of the new platform — have yet to announce a name or pricing model, but said content will be “from all the major professional sports leagues and college sports.” Continue reading Disney, FOX, WBD Finalizing a New Sports Streaming Venture

WBD Will Begin Streaming Live Sports on Max in Two Weeks

Warner Bros. Discovery will begin adding free live sports to its Max streaming service beginning October 5 as a promotional period. Beginning February 29, 2024, subscribers will be charged an additional $10 per month to keep it as part of the new “Bleacher Report Sports Add-On Tier.” Max streaming sports will include Major League Baseball playoff games, regular-season National Basketball Association and National Hockey League games, U.S. soccer and the NCAA men’s basketball March Madness. The sports fee will be in addition to the subscription price for ad-supported or commercial-free Max. Continue reading WBD Will Begin Streaming Live Sports on Max in Two Weeks

Peacock Now Streaming VR Content on Meta Quest Headsets

Peacock struck a deal with Meta Platforms that will allow its subscribers to view movies, TV shows and sports in virtual reality on Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro headsets. That includes MLB and NFL games, “all in VR on your own giant, personal screen.” VR will be available to all Peacock subscribers, starting with the ad-subsidized $4.99 per month Premium tier, but those who sign-up with a qualifying Quest 2 or Quest Pro before April 11, 2024 will be eligible to receive Peacock Premium for 12 months at no additional cost. Those who had qualifying Meta headsets registered on or before April 11, 2023 will be eligible for three free months of Peacock Premium. Continue reading Peacock Now Streaming VR Content on Meta Quest Headsets

Big Tech Drives Up Sports Prices as Amazon, Apple Go All In

Big Tech has become a disruptor in the marketplace for sports rights, with Amazon and Apple bidding against traditional media for rights to NFL and MLB games in addition to college conference competition and Formula 1 racing, according to recent reports. Among the prizes, DirecTV’s expiring rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket, a package that is being shopped with a $2.5 billion annual price tag, $1 billion more than the satellite operator’s current deal, which ends in January. In addition, Google is said to be bidding on behalf of YouTube. Beginning September 15, Amazon Prime Video begins its exclusive carriage deal for “Thursday Night Football.”  Continue reading Big Tech Drives Up Sports Prices as Amazon, Apple Go All In

NESN Is First Regional Sportscaster Offering DTC Streaming

Regional Sports Network NESN is launching a subscription streaming service called NESN 360 for $29.99 per month, with the first month priced at $1. NESN 360 allows fans to purchase a direct subscription to NESN’s live programming and video-on-demand content. Launched in partnership with the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Bruins and Major League Baseball, NESN 360 makes NESN the first regional sports network in the country to launch a direct-to-consumer service bypassing cable. Annual subscriptions are priced at $329.99 and include eight tickets to see the Red Sox play in 2022. Continue reading NESN Is First Regional Sportscaster Offering DTC Streaming

Apple Rolls Out 5G iPhone SE, iPad Air, Mac Studio Desktop

Wearing a blue sweater and yellow Apple Watch in solidarity with Ukraine, Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the budget 5G iPhone SE during a “Peek Performance” virtual event streamed live Tuesday morning. In addition, Apple revealed an M1-powered iPad Air, the sizzling Mac Studio for professionals and a 27-inch studio monitor to go with it. The event concluded with a teaser for the new Mac Pro. Cook also announced “Friday Night Baseball” is coming to Apple TV+ (“a weekly doubleheader with live pre- and post-game shows”) and said the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro will come in green and alpine green, respectively. The new gear hits the market March 18. Continue reading Apple Rolls Out 5G iPhone SE, iPad Air, Mac Studio Desktop

FOX’s Tubi Plans to Expand Sports Programming in the U.S.

FOX is introducing a sports content hub on its free streaming service Tubi. “Sports on Tubi” will add 10 live-streaming sports channels to its existing offerings, including FOX Sports, FOX Deportes, NFL, MLB, beIN Sports Xtra and beIN Sports Xtra en Español, Fubo Sports Network, Pac-12 Insider, Stadium and USA Today SportsWire, as well as channels for the ACC and Real Madrid later this year. The channels, which will only be available in the United States, will debut first on Amazon Fire TV and Roku and Android devices. Continue reading FOX’s Tubi Plans to Expand Sports Programming in the U.S.

Streaming Services Raise Fees, Edging Toward Cable Prices

The monthly cost of numerous streaming services is moving closer to those of cable and satellite services. Google is raising the price of its basic YouTube TV package from $50 per month to $65, a 30 percent jump, and sports-centric fuboTV is raising its standard monthly price from $55 per month to $60. Google said the higher price is due to higher programming costs, and fuboTV’s rate is going up when Disney-owned channels, including ESPN, join the lineup in August. Skinny bundles from AT&T TV Now, Dish Network’s Sling TV and Hulu + Live TV have also gone up in price since the beginning of 2019. Continue reading Streaming Services Raise Fees, Edging Toward Cable Prices

Google Fiber Will No Longer Offer Its Traditional TV Bundle

Alphabet’s Google Fiber, a service that provides fiber-to-the-premises IPTV content, is shutting down its bundle offering news, sports, local and premium channels. Existing subscribers to Fiber with TV will not see any changes to their service, but new customers won’t have the option. A company blog post explained that the service would return its focus “to where we started — as a gigabit Internet company.” It added that, “customers today just don’t need traditional TV … [because] the best TV is already online.” Continue reading Google Fiber Will No Longer Offer Its Traditional TV Bundle

Twitter LiveCut Helps Publishers Create, Share Video Clips

In its push for more video content, Twitter is launching a new tool named LiveCut to replace its SnappyTV third-party live video-editing tool. LiveCut, two years in development and now integrated within content management platform Twitter Media Studio, is designed to help marketers and brands easily create video clips of live broadcasts, distribute them via Twitter, and monetize them through Twitter Amplify, the platform’s video ad product. SnappyTV, which Twitter acquired in 2014, will shut down December 31. Continue reading Twitter LiveCut Helps Publishers Create, Share Video Clips

MLB Plans to Live Stream Games to YouTube, YouTube TV

This week, YouTube announced a new partnership with Major League Baseball that will allow the video streaming site to exclusively live stream a total of 13 MLB games to both YouTube and YouTube TV for free to viewers in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. Dates and times are forthcoming, but the games will stream on the MLB YouTube channel along with a temporary pop-up channel on YouTube TV specific to MLB. While YouTube and MLB have worked together in the past, they’ve never struck a deal related to exclusive streaming.

Continue reading MLB Plans to Live Stream Games to YouTube, YouTube TV

March Madness Live VR App Signals Future for Sports Fans

In the age of television, sports fans typically watched their games on the couch or, if they were lucky, in arenas or stadiums. With the advent of virtual reality, however, that paradigm is about to shift. The future of sports promises to be more accessible, interactive, personalized and immersive. The fan might still sit on the couch — or at an office desk — but technologies including the Oculus Go VR headset and Intel’s True View will deliver the game in exciting new angles and a 3D view of everything on the field or court. Continue reading March Madness Live VR App Signals Future for Sports Fans

HTC Unveils New Vive Pro Headset with Foveated Rendering

At CES in Las Vegas, HTC unveiled an upgrade to its Vive Pro VR headset, the Vive Pro Eye, featuring integrated eye tracking for in-app controls, analysis of user attention and foveated rendering. The last item relates to the ability of cameras in the headset to precisely track the position of the eyes’ pupils to enable the GPU to focus processing on that location. With foveated rendering, the GPU is said to save 30 percent over its power, which can be used to conserve power or increase detail within the rendered area. Continue reading HTC Unveils New Vive Pro Headset with Foveated Rendering