ESPN has ambitions to make itself the face of all sports entertainment content—by linking rival networks through its homepage.
- ESPN is holding conversations with other sports leagues and media groups, like Amazon and AppleTV+, to create a feature on its website linking to them, making ESPN.com and its app a central hub for sports content in exchange for subscription revenue, according to CNBC.
- No timeline, contracts, or partnerships have been made, but ESPN is moving forward with the idea and hosting discussions.
- The deal could benefit sports fans who must deal with multiple streaming platforms to find their game of choice—on regional networks, or on live television, allowing for a more centralized approach to accessing sports content.
Why It’s News
ESPN is one of the largest sports networks in the world and remains a vital arm of the Disney Corporation, even after failed attempts by the board members to spin it off into a separate entity.
The company is considering ways to set it apart to further solidify it as the face the sports broadcasting. As we recently reported, ESPN was in talks with sports-betting company DraftKings to turn that company into the official gambling partner of the network.
However, as CNBC reports, those aren’t the only talks ESPN has on the table. Multiple regional sports networks have reportedly expressed their interest to the network about pursuing the deal. Other networks, such as Sinclair or Warner Brothers Discovery, have noted declining revenues from regional sports, making a centralized streaming hub potentially lucrative in their absence.
It also marks particular confidence from ESPN—that they feel strong enough in their market share to promote rival networks in the tense streaming wars. Sports content has become hotly contested between streaming services pushing to have exclusive broadcasting rights to popular games, such as Amazon Prime TV’s exclusive streaming rights to Thursday Night Football.
It also marks returning Disney CEO Bob Iger’s shifting the umbrella company towards a renewed focus on revenue and profitability for streaming services, with revenue-share options on the table.