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Will the new sports streaming service from Disney, Fox, and WBD mean you can finally cut the cord for good?

Is this the ultimate sports streamer?

The Washington Commanders take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
All-Pro Reels

Aside from the NFL’s Super Bowl, the big story of the month is a new sports streaming service coming from three of the major studios: Walt Disney Company, Fox Corp, and Warner Bros. Discovery. The new streamer will combine content from Disney’s ESPN and ABC, Fox Sports, and WBD’s TNT and TBS for a one-stop service that features NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, college football, and NCAA March Madness, FIFA World Cup, three Grand Slam tennis events, UFC, Formula 1, and NASCAR.

On the surface, it sounds like the ideal cable killer that sports fans and cord-cutters have been waiting for years to see. And it will likely hasten the departure of a significant amount of subscribers who have only stuck with cable for the sports channels. However, there are several questions that remain, which even the three partner studios haven’t fully addressed yet. And we’re going to dive into some of those issues now.

The Golden State Warriors players take the court.
Christian via Wikipedia Commons

What’s the name of the new streaming service?

It doesn’t have a name yet. In fact, Disney, Fox, and WBD only have an agreement in principle. The final details have yet to be worked out, and there’s still a chance that this could fall apart over something unforeseen. Assuming the deal does go forward, each of the three studios will own a third of the streamer, much in the same way that Hulu was initially co-owned by three of the four major broadcast networks. That’s why some observers have already characterized this new streamer as the Hulu of sports.

Anže Kopitar and the Los Angeles Kings warm up before a game.
John Manard

Who isn’t involved with the new service?

Comcast and Paramount are not partners in this new service, as both already feature sports on their respective streamers, Peacock and Paramount+, as well as on NBC and CBS. However, the new sports streamer will be the first time that Fox Sports has allowed its programming to be streamed since Fox has no standalone sports streaming service of its own.

The Baltimore Orioles attempt to tag out a member of the New York Yankees.
Keith Allison

How will this affect the other sports streaming services?

The three partner studios are offering their content on a non-exclusive basis. This means that nothing is stopping Disney from launching an ESPN streaming service, which it plans to do in 2025. The new ESPN streamer will offer more programming and features than the current ESPN+ streaming service. Meanwhile, WBD is free to stream its sports programming on Max, and if Fox ever gets a sports streamer of its own, it can do so as well.

Additionally, the various sports have other streaming options as well. For example, MLB is planning its streaming service in part to serve as a replacement for the regional sports networks that have largely disappeared.

NASCAR Pinty's Series at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

How much will the new streaming service cost?

That’s the big question. At the moment, there’s no definitive answer, but reasonable estimations predict a $40 per month price point. Whatever the final cost is, it’s expected to be far less than live TV services offered through Hulu or cable providers.

Iran's football team takes on Wales in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Hossein Zohrevand

How will the cable providers react to the new competition?

Probably not well. The sports channels have been some of the biggest money makers for cable providers and one of the strongest incentives for many customers to remain. This is the kind of issue that will probably make the next contract extensions with the studios over carriage rights into potentially contentious negotiations.

Two UFC fighters square off during Fight Night at Fort Bragg.
Spc. Christopher Grammer

When will the new sports streamer debut?

If all three of the partner studios come to an agreement, the early word is that this super sports streamer could premiere as early as this fall ahead of the new NFL season. But there’s still a lot of work ahead to make that a feasible launch window.

Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell is a freelance writer for The Manual, Digital Trends, Fandom, Yahoo Entertainment, and more!
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