Disney desires to transition ESPN from linear TV to streaming — and the NBA and NFL may be the companions that assist the corporate do this. According to CNBC, Disney CEO Bob Iger and ESPN chief Jimmy Pitaro held talks with each leagues about bringing them on as minority buyers within the sports activities community.
In an interview with CNBC final week, Iger hinted at selling a few of Disney’s linear TV property like ABC however famous sports activities content material on ESPN nonetheless “stands very, very tall” with the power to succeed in tens of millions of individuals. Nevertheless, when requested about bringing ESPN to streaming, Iger talked about having “strategic companions” that would assist full that shift away from cable.
“We’re going to be open-minded about on the lookout for strategic companions”
“We’re going to be open-minded about on the lookout for strategic companions that would both assist us with distribution or content material,” Iger mentioned. “I’m not gonna get too detailed about it, however we’re bullish about sports activities usually as a media property.”
If the sports activities leagues determine to take a stake in ESPN, CNBC factors out that this might ruffle the feathers of a few of Disney’s rivals, comparable to NBCUniversal and Fox, as it might end result within the groups working extra intently with ESPN moderately than different networks. It’d imply much less cash for the NFL and NBA, too, which frequently strike profitable offers with a number of media companions throughout the season.