Cord cutters lament one of the biggest drawbacks to leaving behind cable for streaming services is the frustration of trying to watch live sports. Sports streams are out there, but usually scattered among many different services, driving up your monthly expenses if you want to catch them all. But three major players are developing a one-stop streaming solution that could tackle that problem once and ofr all.
Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery announced today (February 6) that they're teaming up on a sports streaming service that will unite all their offerings under one roof. While details like pricing, availability and even a name for the service are scarce, there is this intriguing teaser — the service will include broadcasts from at least 15 different networks with the four major professional sports leagues represented.
That means games from the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL will all be included in this service, along with WNBA, NASCAR, college sports like the NCAA tournament, golf, tennis and the FIFA World Cup. Networks confirmed to be taking part in the service are ESPN, ESPN+, ESPN2, ESPNU, SEC Network, ACC Network, ESPNEWS, ABC, Fox, FS1, FS2, Big Ten Network, TNT, TBS and truTV.
The platform is launching in the fall, though no specific date was given. We also don't know how much it will cost, though representatives from the participating media giants say that you'll be able to bundle the sports offering with Disney Plus, Hulu and/or Max.
If the service does what it promises and delivers a wide variety of sports from different channels into one place, it figures to solve a big dilemma for cord-cutting sports fans who have to subscribe to multiple services to get their fix. For example, a soccer fan would have to subscribe to Peacock for the English Premier League, ESPN Plus for English cup competitions and other European Leagues, Paramount Plus for the Champions League and NWSL and Apple TV for Major League Soccer. That's a lot of different channels.
Even a service like Sling that bundles different cable channels into streaming subscription packages doesn't solve the problem. ESPN's channels are part of Sling's $40/month Orange package while FS1 is in the $45/month Blue offering. You can pay for both, but that raises the monthly price to $60.
We expect more details to emerge between now and the fall when the Disney-Fox-Warner Bros. sports mash-up is supposed to emerge. Once we get a price and more bundling details, we'll find out if someone has truly solved the riddle of live sports and streaming services.
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Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.