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

Prime Originals Head to Amazon Freevee, Fire TV Goes FAST

Amazon Freevee, formerly IMDb Freedive and then IMDb TV, is getting more than 100 Amazon Original programs from Amazon Prime Video. The ad-supported free streaming service will release the new original series and movies throughout the year. Some of the series will be limited to a few teaser episodes designed to drive customers to Amazon Prime. Amazon SVP of ad products and tech Colleen Aubrey touted this and other reveals at New York’s IAB NewFronts in the context of brands using Amazon’s ad-supported streaming TV solutions to reach an average monthly audience of more than 155 million viewers in the U.S. Continue reading Prime Originals Head to Amazon Freevee, Fire TV Goes FAST

Senators Grill Live Nation on Antitrust After the Swift Debacle

Anticompetitive practices, outrageous ticket fees and poor customer service were among the allegations leveled at Live Nation Entertainment Tuesday at a contentious Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing over botched Taylor Swift concert ticket presales by the company’s Ticketmaster subsidiary. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) called the Live Nation relationship to Ticketmaster “the definition of monopoly,” adding that venues fearful of losing the company’s concerts don’t have the ability to push back because Live Nation is “so powerful that it doesn’t even need to exert pressure, it doesn’t need to threaten because people just fall in line.” Continue reading Senators Grill Live Nation on Antitrust After the Swift Debacle

Streaming Viewership to Surpass Cable TV Before Year’s End

Streaming is expected to overtake linear TV viewing by the end of the year, according to a study by research firm Omdia. The Gauge, Nielsen’s latest media analysis report, found that streaming claimed 34 percent of total TV time in June for a fourth consecutive monthly record. That’s what cable claimed in June 2021, only to decline to 35 percent in June 2022. Nielsen SVP of product strategy and thought leadership Brian Fuhrer says what is unusual is “the extraordinary breakout that a number of the streamers had,” with Netflix jumping the most, a full share point. Continue reading Streaming Viewership to Surpass Cable TV Before Year’s End

Apple Acquires Virtual Reality Live Streaming Service NextVR

Apple has purchased NextVR, a virtual reality video service that offered 360-degree access to live events, including sporting events from NBA, WWE and NHL. With a VR headset, users could enjoy the feeling of “presence” in NextVR’s panoramic stereoscopic 3D scenes. The company also offered 2D smartphone access and planned to support augmented reality devices. The service never became popular, however, and a failed 2019 funding round followed by the coronavirus-related cancellation of sporting events left it struggling to survive. Continue reading Apple Acquires Virtual Reality Live Streaming Service NextVR

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

Disney Tops a Million Subscribers for Streaming ESPN Service

Disney announced that its new ESPN+ streaming-only service, which launched five months ago in April, has already reached the milestone of more than one million paying subscribers. While it does not carry live streams from ESPN’s television channels, the $4.99-per-month streaming service offers original studio programming and sports content including MLB and NHL games, college football and international soccer matches, in addition to Top Rank Boxing and UFC mixed martial arts. Continue reading Disney Tops a Million Subscribers for Streaming ESPN Service

U.S. Supreme Court Rules States Can Allow Sports Gambling

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 6-3 opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito, struck down the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), a federal law stipulating that states could not “sponsor, operate, advertise, promote, license, or authorize” sports gambling. The ruling, which sided with a challenge brought by New Jersey, now opens the door for states to allow legal gambling, upending an over-25 year ban. The major sports leagues have responded positively and enthusiastically to the new status quo. Continue reading U.S. Supreme Court Rules States Can Allow Sports Gambling

ESPN Sets April 12 as Launch Date for New Streaming Service

ESPN+ is slated to launch on April 12th. ESPN’s new streaming service will cost $4.99 per month and will include “streaming access to live sports, original content, and on-demand programming delivered [via] a redesigned and personalized ESPN app, as well as ESPN.com,” reports TechCrunch. In August of last year, Disney made key announcements regarding plans for streaming video services: a Disney-branded platform slated for 2019, an ESPN-branded service for early 2018, and a majority stake in streaming tech company BAMTech, founded by MLB Advanced Media.

Continue reading ESPN Sets April 12 as Launch Date for New Streaming Service

Silicon Valley Could Compete with Pay TV in Streaming Sports

Silicon Valley companies are getting closer to becoming major players in sports broadcasting. Up until now, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Verizon and Yahoo have been happy to ink contracts for various smaller sports packages that allow them to stream what has already been broadcast by the TV networks. But that scenario may be poised for a change, evidenced by the recent bidding war for primetime TV rights to NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” (Fox just signed a 5-year broadcast agreement, but a digital partner has yet to be announced). Continue reading Silicon Valley Could Compete with Pay TV in Streaming Sports

Disney to Introduce Streaming Services Over Next Two Years

In a significant departure from its traditional business model, Disney announced it plans to pull its movies from Netflix and roll out two of its own online streaming services. Early next year the company will introduce an ESPN streaming service that is expected to cover 10,000 events each year, including MLB, NHL and MLS content. The company also plans to launch a Disney-branded streaming platform in 2019 that will offer its movies and TV programming as well as original content exclusive to the service. Following the news, Netflix stock dropped 7 percent in after-hours trading. Continue reading Disney to Introduce Streaming Services Over Next Two Years

DraftKings, FanDuel Cancel Merger In Face of FTC Lawsuit

Rival fantasy-sports companies DraftKings and FanDuel planned to merge last November, but that plan has now been nixed. In their statements about the cancellation of the merger, neither company mentioned the fact that the Federal Trade Commission filed an antitrust suit against the merger, but, in statements, the companies’ chief executives noted that the lawsuit would add cost, time and distractions to the proposed union. The companies both offer daily games that allow users to assemble virtual teams of real athletes. Continue reading DraftKings, FanDuel Cancel Merger In Face of FTC Lawsuit