Media Giants Are Planning A QB Sneak To Blunt Big Tech Competition: A New Streaming Platform – The Average Joe
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    Media Giants Are Planning A QB Sneak To Blunt Big Tech Competition: A New Streaming Platform

    Noah Weidner

    February 7, 2024

    Major League Soccer is on Apple ($2.5B deal). Thursday Night Football is on Amazon ($11B). And NFL’s Sunday Ticket is on YouTube ($14B). It’s impossible… We can’t keep track, nor can sports fans — who just want to watch their favorite games without signing up for a dozen streaming services.

    Fans, legacy media companies have one message: Say, “no more.” To prevent Big Tech from ruining your favorite activity, media giants are teaming up in what could be The Great Sports Rebundling.

    Triple-threat: This week, Disney (NYSE:DIS), Fox (NASDAQ:FOX), and Warner Bros Discovery (NASDAQ:WBD) unveiled plans for a new live sports streaming platform set to launch later this year. Disney CEO Bob Iger hailed it as “a major win for sports fans, and an important step forward for the media business.”

    • According to Variety, the subscription for this new platform will likely fall somewhere between the cost of a regional sports network ($20-30/mo) and digital cable platforms like Hulu + Live TV ($75-80/mo).
    • The platform aims to include popular cable channels like ESPN, Fox Sports, and TNT — offering live streams from major sports leagues like the NHL, NBA, and MLB.

    Watch now on Antitrust+

    With an estimated control of ~85% of US sports rights, this platform could cut down on unnecessary streaming subscriptions for households. However, this mega-deal might rustle regulators in Washington who are concerned about its impact on the broader industry.

    • Sports leagues could face fewer bidders for media rights, which have more than doubled in value since and were projected to rise 55% by 2033, per Rethink Research.
    • As leagues like the NBA gear up to negotiate new media deals this year, members of the new platform may opt not to compete with each other, complicating the league’s ambitious $75B target.

    Guess who’s a sports fan? In the end, antitrust lawyers could be sympathetic to such a massive deal given the sheer number of streaming platforms now required to view live sports — with UCSF Law Professor Robin Feldman adding that “Antitrust law has always had a soft spot for sports.”

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