Skip to Content

ESPN, FOX, and WBD Form Joint Venture for Sports Service

ESPN, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, FOX, and Warner Bros. Discovery have reached an understanding on principal terms to form a new Joint Venture (JV) to build a new platform to house a compelling streaming sports service. The service will be called Venu Sports.

Pete Distad, CEO of the forthcoming streaming service, unveiled the future brand identity for the highly anticipated platform.

ESPN, FOX, and WBD Form Joint Venture for Sports Service

“We are excited to officially introduce Venu Sports, a brand that we feel captures the spirit of an all-new streaming home where sports fans outside of the traditional pay TV eco-system can experience an incredible collection of live sports, all in one place,” Distad said.

“As preparations for the platform continue to accelerate, we are singularly focused on delivering a best-in-class product for our target audience, built from the ground up using the latest technologies to engage and entertain discerning sports fans wanting one-stop access to live games.”

Venu Sports, which is on track to launch this fall in the U.S., will combine the companies’ portfolios of sports networks and certain direct-to-consumer services in a compelling new streaming sports service that will allow underserved fans to get the most out of every game.

ESPN, FOX, and WBD Form Joint Venture for Sports Service

Subscribers would also have the ability to bundle the product, including with Disney+, Hulu, and/or Max. The platform would aggregate content to offer fans an extensive, dynamic lineup of sports content, aiming to provide a new and differentiated experience to serve sports fans, particularly those outside of the traditional pay TV bundle.

By subscribing to this focused, all-in-one premier sports service, fans would have access to the linear sports networks, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SECN, ACCN, ESPNEWS, ABC, FOX, FS1, FS2, BTN, TNT, TBS, truTV, and ESPN+.

ESPN, FOX, and Warner Bros. Discovery would own one-third of Venu Sports, have equal board representation, and license their sports content to the joint venture on a non-exclusive basis. The service would have a new brand with an independent management team.

Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, said, “The launch of this new streaming sports service is a significant moment for Disney and ESPN, a major win for sports fans, and an important step forward for the media business.

“This means the full suite of ESPN channels will be available to consumers alongside the sports programming of other industry leaders as part of a differentiated sports-centric service. I’m grateful to Jimmy Pitaro and the team at ESPN, who are at the forefront of innovating on behalf of consumers to create new offerings with more choice and greater value.”

Lachlan Murdoch, Executive Chair and Chief Executive Officer of FOX, said, “We’re pumped to bring the FOX Sports portfolio to this new and exciting platform. We believe the service will provide passionate fans outside of the traditional bundle an array of amazing sports content all in one place.”

David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, said, “At WBD, our ambition is always to connect our leading content and brands with as many viewers as possible, and this exciting joint venture and the unparalleled combination of marquee sports rights and access to the greatest sporting events in the world allows us to do just that.

“This new sports service exemplifies our ability as an industry to drive innovation and provide consumers with more choice, enjoyment, and value, and we’re thrilled to deliver it to sports fans.”