While much remains to be announced, we’re slowly getting a little more information on the yet-to-be-named sports streaming bundle that will combine the assets of ESPN, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery. (We’re going to call it the “super sports streaming bundle” for now.)
Fox Corp. Executive Chairman and CEO Lachlan Murdoch spoke a bit about the new service during his company’s fiscal 2024 second-quarter earnings call on Wednesday.
“The opportunity is huge,” Murdoch said. “That’s because this sports-focused platform is focused entirely on not cord-cutters, but cord-nevers.”
That’s an advertising term that basically means someone who doesn’t currently subscribe to anything. Not cable. Not an existing streaming service like YouTube TV. And it’s generally someone on the younger side of the equation. That’s not just a big slice of pie ripe for the taking — it’s a whole pie, with some 60 million pieces to be gobbled up.
“If you look at the American market,” Lachlan continued, “it’s roughly, say, 125 million households in America. And roughly half of those are not within the traditional bundle, the cable ecosystem. And so the target for this — which is going to be, I think, incredibly innovative when you see it roll out — is really that universe of, call it, 60 million-odd households that currently don’t participate in the bundled, cable, and pay television ecosystem.”
That’s a potential of 60 million subscribers. And while the new service — which also hasn’t announced pricing — certainly won’t penetrate 100% of that market, even a relatively small percentage means that much less money is left on the table, both in terms of subscription fees and advertising revenue.
“It’s a new market where there’s no product serving the sports fans that are not within the cable TV bundle,” Lachlan said. “So it accesses a whole new market and really drives a tremendous amount of new reach that we weren’t servicing before.”
As for what, exactly, the super sports streaming bundle will look like? That remains under lock and key, for now. Not that he’d really say anything to the contrary on an earnings call, but Lachlan already is singing the praises of what he’s seen.
“We’ve been working on it for several months now,” he said. “I’ve been lucky enough to have seen some of the prototypes for this service. It will be unique and very innovative when you see it roll out.”