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New streaming service looks to end endless Googling for sports

Warner Bros. Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav.
Warner Bros. Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav Jeff Kravitz / Warner Bros. Discovery

We still have a million questions about the upcoming sports streaming service that combines the live options from the likes of Disney (as in the full ESPN family), Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery. Most important for what we’re currently calling the super sports streaming service will be a name. And a close second will be what it’s going to cost.

But we are continuing to get a few more details in drips and drabs, most recently from Warner Bros. Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav on the company’s fourth-quarter 2023 earnings call. Zaslav reiterated what Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch has already said, in that this new service isn’t expected to cannibalize from existing cable subscriptions and is really meant for the younger generation.

“We’re able to go after those that we’re missing,” Zaslav said. “We’re missing those subscribers. The traditional cable industry is missing those subscribers.”

Zaslav also said that the real goal of this new service is to help alleviate the biggest pain when it comes to streaming — figuring out which service a specific event may be on.

Basically, this new service wants to keep you from having to run a Google search to find a game.

“So today, when people are thinking ,’What channel should I watch? What channel is my sport on?’ you know, you’ll be able to go to this new product,” Zaslav said. “And if you if you love the baseball playoffs, you’ll watch all of them. And you’re not thinking, what channel is it on? Hockey?. You’ll watch all of the hockey playoffs right through the Stanley Cup. You’ll watch for basketball. You’ll watch all the playoffs right through to the championships.

“And you will never think or ever have to Google where is it.”

That would be huge for subscribers, if not a little dubious for the websites that reap the benefits from the confusion.

One other fairly big piece of news from Zaslav — though hardly unexpected — is that you’ll be able to bundle this new streaming sports service with your Max subscription. (Which may well explain why Max’s Bleacher Reports sports add-on extended its free trial.) That’ll almost certainly be the case with Disney’s streaming products, too.

“We believe this will provide a terrific consumer experience and will be a great business,” Zaslav said. “They couldn’t be more excited about it. We’ll also be able to bundle this product with Max. So we see this new joint venture as another potential driver of incremental growth for our business going forward.”

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