Nexstar President Says Fox-Disney-WBD Sports Streaming Venture Will Offer ‘Additive’ Revenue Stream, Dings ‘Market Overreaction’ to Deal

President and COO Michael Biard said there was “significant misinterpretation” to the offering during the company’s Q4 earnings call

ACC Chamipionship Game
Kobe Paysour of the North Carolina Tar Heels gets tackled by Sheridan Jones of the Clemson Tigers in the first quarter during the ACC Championship game in 2022 (Credit Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

There has been “significant misinterpretation and market overreaction” over the announced live sports joint venture from Fox, Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery, according to Nexstar president and COO Michael Biard. The executive addressed the buzzy announcement during the company’s 2023 fourth quarter earnings call.

“We have confirmation that it will function in the same manner as other VMVPDs,” Biard said, referring to the term used to describe platforms like YouTube TV and Hulu Live TV. “To be clear, Nexstar will have the option of opting in to secure carriage and compensation for ABC stations. As such, this would be an additive incremental revenue stream for Nexstar.”

Biard noted that affiliate stations will be a “core piece” to the product that “reaffirms the critical importance of our broadcast platform to sports rights and distribution.” The president and COO also praised these three corporate partners for understanding the continued importance of linear television, especially because pay TV remains “vital” to Fox, Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery.

Additionally, Biard noted that the “rubber pricing” on this service will not “undervalue” linear networks that will pay and distribute the sports that will be core to the product’s offering “like some other DTC products in the marketplace do.”

Earlier this month, Fox, Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery announced they were teaming up to create a joint sports streaming app that will combine ESPN, TNT and Fox Sports together on one platform. The service is currently planned to launch in the fall. Each of the media giants will own one-third of the company and will have equal board representation. The content available on platform will be available on a non-exclusive basis.

The channels available on the offering will include ESPN, ESPN+, ESPN2, ESPNU, SECN, ACCN, ESPNEWS, FOX, FS1, FS2, BTN, TNT, TBS, truTV and the ABC network.

As for which sports leagues will be featured on the offering, the NFL, NBA, WNBA, MLB, NHL, NASCAR, College Sports, UFC, PGA TOUR Golf, Grand Slam Tennis, the FIFA World Cup and cycling will all have a presence. Subscribers will also be able to bundle the product with Disney+, Hulu and Max.


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