With, they hope, deals like the one announced this week.
How does it work?
Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery have bundled 14 of their channels that show sports — the full list includes ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SEC Network, ACC Network, ESPNews, Fox, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, Big Ten Network, TNT, TBS and truTV — and the ESPN+ streaming service, and will sell them as a single package.
How much will it cost?
That was not announced. But you can expect it to cost more than the $15 or so a month that most streaming companies charge, and less than the $100 or so it costs each month to subscribe to a pay television package. Ads will be shown on the new service.
Is this a streaming service or a cable-like bundle of channels?
Both, sort of. It is definitely a streaming service that you will be able to subscribe to and watch on a variety of devices. But rather than a menu of different shows to watch on demand, there will be channels that you can watch live, much like cable customers do.
As a result, this means subscribers to the service will also be able to watch the non-sports shows these channels televise, like “The Simpsons” and “The Bachelor.”
What’s with all the content that’s not sports?
The contracts between networks and leagues are usually specific about where games can be shown. Because of a fear of a smaller audience, most leagues have been hesitant about allowing too many games to move off broadcast and cable channels and shift fully to streaming. But this new service is structured in such a way that it offers everything on the included channels: sports and non-sports content alike. That makes it more like already existing cable bundles and its means the companies did not need to secure permission from the leagues to show the games on the service.