Venu Sports is yet another streaming services aimed at sports fans - The UpStream

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Venu Sports is yet another streaming services aimed at sports fans

posted Sunday May 19, 2024 by Scott Ertz

Bad news everyone! There is yet another streaming service headed your way to steal your money and attention. This service, called Venu Sports, is a partnership between Disney (which owns ABC and ESPN), Fox (which owns Fox Sports), and Warner Bros. Discovery (which owns TBS and TNT). Together, Venu Sports hopes to be your one-stop shop for all things sports without a cable subscription, but there are some notable exceptions that might make that a difficult proposition.

What is Venu Sports?

Venu Sports is an upcoming sports streaming service that marks a significant collaboration between ESPN, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery. Set to launch in the fall of 2024, Venu Sports aims to be a comprehensive platform for sports enthusiasts, offering a wide array of live sports content. The service is designed to cater to fans who prefer streaming over traditional pay TV, providing them with one-stop access to games from all the major professional sports leagues and college sports. The joint venture is subject to regulatory approval, but once launched, it will bring together the companies' portfolios of sports networks and certain direct-to-consumer services into a single, dynamic service.

The brand identity for Venu Sports was unveiled by Pete Distad, the CEO of the service, who emphasized the platform's commitment to delivering a top-tier product for sports fans. The service will be available directly to consumers via a new app, with the option to bundle it with other streaming services like Disney+, Hulu, or Max. This flexibility is part of Venu Sports' strategy to aggregate content and offer an extensive lineup that serves sports fans, particularly those outside of the traditional pay TV bundle.

While the specific details regarding pricing and a more precise launch date are yet to be announced, the anticipation for Venu Sports is high. The platform promises access to a vast range of sports channels owned by the partnering companies, including ESPN, TNT, TBS, and more. Subscribers can look forward to enjoying NFL, NBA, MLB, and NCAA games, among other sporting events. The introduction of Venu Sports is poised to reshape the sports streaming landscape, providing fans with a new venue to experience their favorite sports in a more accessible and tailored manner.

Another service with holes

While this trio together offers a lot of sporting options, there are some high-profile content options missing. Just take the NFL as an example. The NFL has content strewn across nearly every service provider under the sun. Some games are available on Amazon Prime. Starting this coming season, some games will be available on Netflix. Others are available on YouTube TV. None of those companies are involved in this new sports venture, leaving you with no other option but to subscribe to more platforms. So much for "one-stop shop."

Another sports that is going to be absent is Premier League Soccer, which is currently exclusive to the NBC Sports Group, owned by Comcast Universal. NBC also has exclusive broadcast and streaming rights to the Olympic Games in the US, meaning we're not likely to see that come to the platform.

Can Venu last as it has been pitched?

Another concern comes from the nature of the partnership. When Hulu first launched, it was a partnership between Disney (ABC), Fox, and NBC. In the beginning, the relationship was solid and the service offered a ton of content from these brands.

Then, with time, the relationship changed. Turner came in as a minority owner and then jumped ship. Then Fox decided to sell, not only their stake in Hulu but also their entertainment division, to Disney. That left Disney with the majority stake, which drove Comcast to create Peacock, leaving the Hulu ownership group. So, the end result is that Hulu is now entirely owned by Disney.

Over the long run, will Venu Sports suffer the same fate as Hulu? Will the content selection drop over time, limiting itself to only a single provider? Only time will tell, but for now, Venu Sports looks like it could be a good option for big sports fan.


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