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Former Apple exec joins upcoming sports streaming service as CEO

Pete Distad, CEO of the new sports streaming service from Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery.
Former Hulu and Apple executive Pete Distad will serve as CEO of the new sports streaming service from Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery. Handout photo

It doesn’t have a name. It doesn’t have a launch date. (And if you already subscribe to a streaming service like YouTube TV, this really isn’t for you anyway.) But the upcoming super sports streaming service that combines the sports you’d find from Disney (think ESPN and ABC), Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery now has someone in charge.

Pete Distad has been named the chief executive officer of the upcoming service after having spent nearly a decade at Apple as head of video and sports before leaving in June 2023. Before that, he was senior vice president of marketing and distribution at Hulu for nearly six years.

“This is an incredible opportunity to build and grow a differentiated product that will serve passionate sports fans in the U.S. outside of the traditional pay TV bundle,” Distad said in a press release. “I’m excited to be able to pull together the industry-leading sports content portfolios from these three companies to deliver a new best-in-class service.”

A joint statement also was issued by ESPN, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery.

“Pete is an accomplished innovator and leader who has extensive experience with launching and growing new video services,” the statement reads. “We are confident he and his team will build an extremely compelling, fan-focused product for our target market.”

The new streaming service is expected to launch in time for college football this fall, but does not yet have a publicly announced date. Executives of the three companies involved in the joint venture have previously said that the new service isn’t meant to cannibalize from any of their existing properties and is instead aimed at those who don’t currently subscribe to anything. That segment makes up around 60 million “cord-nevers,” the execs have said.

While we don’t yet know pricing for the new service, we do know that it will be available as a bundle with existing streaming services, like Disney+, Hulu, and Max. Of those three, Max is the only to currently offer any sort of live sports. It also will be available as a separate download.

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