Major media TV rights package creating unease across industry
The GIST: Last Tuesday, ESPN, FOX, and Warner Bros. Discovery announced their intention to create a unified live sports streaming app. It would offer content from all three platforms, a prospect that has already spooked smaller streamers, Wall Street investors, and sports leagues. Here’s what’s happened since:
⛔ Antitrust: With all three networks pooling content, experts estimate the app would comprise 55% of U.S. sports rights. While the networks have maintained they will operate media rights negotiations separately, lumping everything together has already raised antitrust red flags. Having trust issues.
📉 Scripps and Fubo: The deal is already knocking smaller players off the Monopoly board — Scripps, which owns 61 local stations and acquired recent stakes in WNBA and NWSL media rights, saw shares drop 24% after the megadeal was announced.
- The news seems to be hitting women sports–friendly streamers hard. Fubo — which greenlit critically-acclaimed The Syd & TP Show — saw its stock drop more than 20% and even issued a statement on the matter, saying “Every consumer in America should be concerned about the intent behind this joint venture and its impact on fair market competition.”
👀 Sports leagues suspicions: And it’s not just fellow networks feeling the pain — sports leagues are worried this deal means they’ll lose important leverage. After being “blindsided” by the news, leagues reportedly went on red alert, fearing this joint entity would negotiate for rights as a whole and thus reduce their payouts from each network. Don’t be suspicious…