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Thursday, February 29, 2024

The New Sports Mega-Streamer: What Does It Mean for Me?

  • From ABC and TruTV to the NFL and the Mountain Bike World Cup, here’s everything included.
  • And bottom line: What’s it going to cost? (Short answer: TBD.)
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Photo: USA Today

Coming off the news Tuesday that Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery are teaming up for a new digital sports package that will combine all of their broadcast assets into one consolidated streaming offering—the Great Rebundling, as many are viewing it—here’s a quick primer on what we know and what you can expect from the new unnamed service, which is expected to be available in the fall.

So, what’s included?

Subscribers to the new package will get access to all of the sports channels (including nonsports content—that’s part of how the various nets were able to pull this off with their league agreements) associated with the three partners. That includes: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SECN, ACCN, ESPNEWS, and ABC, plus ESPN+ (Disney); Fox, FS1, FS2, and the Big Ten Network (Fox); and TNT, TBS, and truTV (WBD).

… and what’s not?

The big ones: anything under CBS (including Paramount+) or NBC (Peacock), as well as the offerings on streamers such as Amazon and YouTube, including NFL Sunday Ticket.

But what sports and leagues, exactly, will I get?

Deep breath. Here’s a very long but-not-at-all-exhaustive list of leagues and conferences at least partially included in the offering:

  • Football: NFL and UFL
  • Basketball: NBA and WNBA
  • Baseball: MLB
  • Hockey: NHL
  • College sports: ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Big East, and SEC; plus 40 NCAA championship events, including the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments and the College Football Playoff
  • Golf: PGA Tour and PGA Championship, plus the Masters and TGL
  • Tennis: Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, and the Australian Open
  • Soccer: The FIFA World Cup, U.S. Soccer, NWSL, MLS, La Liga, Bundesliga, UEFA, and Concacaf
  • Combat sports: UFC and Top Rank
  • Cycling: Giro d’Italia, the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, and Giro Donne
  • Auto racing: Formula One, NASCAR, and 24 Hours of Le Mans

O.K., and the big question: How much? First, it’s worth noting the new service will be offered in a bundle for those already subscribed to the streamers affiliated with Disney, Fox and WBD: Max, Disney+, Hulu, etc. But if you don’t have one of those? Not the answer you wanted: No one knows the cost yet. The New York Times’ Kevin Draper ballparks it somewhere between $15 (your typical streamer) and $100 (standard cable). And CNBC’s Alex Sherman puts an estimate at somewhere between $45 and $50. Want more specifics? You’re going to have to wait.

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