Disney, Fox and WBD reveal the name of their sports broadcasting venture

The joint venture between Disney/ESPN and Fox Corp. and Warner Bros. Discovery to put together a sports streaming package has a name – Venu Sports.

“We are excited to officially introduce Venu Sports, a brand that we feel embodies the spirit of a completely new live streaming where sports fans outside the traditional pay-TV ecosystem can experience an incredible range of live sports, all in one place.” Pete Dystad, CEO of Venu Sports, said in a statement. “As platform preparations continue to accelerate, we are uniquely focused on delivering a best-in-class product to our target audience, built from the ground up using cutting-edge technology to engage and entertain discerning sports fans who want comprehensive access to live gaming.”

Disney, Fox and WBD unveiled their partnership in February, positioning the new streaming package as a way to reach consumers who don’t subscribe to pay TV. It is scheduled to debut in the fall of 2024. The trio announced in March the hiring of Distad, who worked for a decade at Apple and was most recently responsible for Apple’s TV+ business, global operations and distribution. Distad is based out of the Venu Sports offices in Los Angeles

Pricing and a specific launch date have not been announced for Venu, which will combine ESPN+ with the three companies’ linear TV networks that carry sports programming (ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SECN, ACCN, ESPNews, Fox, FS1, FS2). Big Ten Network, TNT, TBS and truTV).

When the joint venture was announced, some jokingly called it “Spolo,” a combination of “sports” and “Hulu,” which was originally formed as a joint venture between television broadcasters.

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The project also launched a new website at venu.com. A notice at the bottom of the landing page says: “Launch is contingent on regulatory approval and is expected to occur in fall 2024. This site is owned and operated by a subsidiary of FOX Corporation.” The three companies also indicated that the joint project is still awaiting “the finalization of the final agreements between the parties.”

The Department of Justice reportedly planned to review the tripartite project to consider harmful effects on competition, and last month, two prominent Democrats in Congress expressed concerns that the joint venture could “result in higher prices for consumers and less fair licensing terms for upstream and downstream sports leagues.” . Video distributors.” Meanwhile, streaming TV provider Fubo filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block the launch of the JV service, alleging the venture violates antitrust laws. On May 2, Fubo, DirecTV, Dish Network, Newsmax and others sent a letter to members of Congress requesting a contract Hearings on the state of competition in the pay-TV market, specifically describing the Disney-Fox-WBD joint venture as “lifting.”[ing] Serious competition concerns that require immediate congressional oversight.

Venu (pronounced “venue”) will be available directly to consumers via a new app, the companies said. Subscribers will also have the ability to purchase it in a bundle, including Disney+, Hulu, or Max.

According to a JV spokesperson, the name Venu Sports “takes inspiration from where live sports live: stadiums, arenas, speedways, octagons, stadiums, rinks, stadiums and more, where fans come to watch and connect with the action.”

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