Wednesday, February 28, 2024

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    New sports streaming service will upset the balance of power in TV, media buyers say

    Like a well-disguised blitz on third and long, traditional television was sacked for a loss of yards Tuesday night when Fox, Warner Bros. Discovery and Disney announced they’re forming a joint venture to offer a “skinny bundle” of all sports content among them beginning this fall. 

    Sports has been the last bastion of solid ratings for linear television, so this hit feels particularly acute — coming only weeks after Netflix stole away WWE rights from basic cable. Even if those ratings aren’t moving off linear TV, it’s the implication of it that hurts.

    “This deal is yet another signal of traditional TV’s impending demise as live sports becomes streaming’s latest shiny object,” said Forrester’s vp, research director Mike Proulx. “But without sports properties from networks including NBC and CBS, the new sports streaming service is incomplete out of the gate.” 

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