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Disney, Fox & WBD christen their sports streaming venture ‘Venu Sports’

In announcing the new name, the three companies also noted that the JV is still pending the “finalisation of definitive agreements amongst the parties”

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Disney, Fox and WBD christen their sports streaming venture ‘Venu Sports’

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Delhi: The joint venture of Disney/ESPN, Fox Corp. and Warner Bros. Discovery to package together a sports streaming bundle has a name — Venu Sports.

“We are excited to officially introduce Venu Sports, a brand that we feel captures the spirit of an all-new streaming home where sports fans outside of the traditional pay TV ecosystem can experience an incredible collection of live sports, all in one place,” said Pete Distad, CEO of Venu Sports. “As preparations for the platform continue to accelerate, we are singularly focused on delivering a best-in-class product for our target audience, built from the ground up using the latest technologies to engage and entertain discerning sports fans wanting one-stop access to live games.”

According to media reports, /pricing and a specific launch date haven’t been announced for Venu, which will combine ESPN+ with the three companies’ linear TV networks that carry sports programming (ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SECN, ACCN, ESPNews, Fox, FS1, FS2, Big Ten Network, TNT, TBS and truTV).

Disney, Fox and WBD unveiled their partnership in February, positioning the new streaming bundle as a way to reach consumers who don’t subscribe to pay TV. It’s pegged to debut in the fall of 2024. 

When the joint venture was announced, some had jokingly dubbed it “Spulu,” a mash-up of “sports” and “Hulu,” which had originally been formed as a JV among TV broadcasters.

The venture also launched a new website at venu.com. A notice at the bottom of the landing page says, “Launch is conditional on receiving regulatory approval and is expected for Fall 2024.” The site’s terms of service indicate that it’s operated by “Rookie Enterprises, LLC,” a subsidiary of Fox Corp. 

In announcing the new name, the three companies also noted that the JV is still pending the “finalisation of definitive agreements amongst the parties.”

Venu (pronounced “venue”) will be made available directly to consumers via a new app, according to media reports. Subscribers will also have the ability to purchase it in a bundle, including with Disney+, Hulu or Max.

The JV’s new name and brand identity were developed in partnership with R/GA, a global design and advertising firm. 

According to a Venu Sports spokesperson, the name “takes inspiration from where live sports lives: the stadiums, arenas, speedways, octagons, courts, rinks, ballparks and more, where fans come to watch and connect with the action.”

The Justice Department reportedly plans to review the three-way venture for anticompetitive implications. Two leading congressional Democrats expressed concerns about potential price hikes for consumers and unfair licensing terms for sports leagues and video distributors. Meanwhile, Fubo filed a federal lawsuit alleging antitrust violations and called for congressional hearings on competition in the pay-TV market, highlighting the Disney-Fox-WBD joint venture as a major concern.

Venu Sports Warner Bros Discovery Disney Fox Corporation
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