Last month, Disney’s ESPN announced it would be launching a brand-new sports streaming service with FOX and Warner Bros. Discovery.  the new platform is scheduled to launch in the fall of 2024 and will be made available directly to consumers via a new app. Subscribers would also have the ability to bundle the product, including with Disney+, Hulu and/or Max.

The platform would aggregate content to offer fans an extensive, dynamic lineup of sports content, aiming to provide a new and differentiated experience to serve sports fans, particularly those outside of the traditional pay TV bundle.  The new all-in-one premier sports service will provide access to linear sports networks, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, SECN, ACCN, ESPNEWS, ABC, FOX, FS1, FS2, BTN, TNT, TBS, truTV, as well as ESPN+.

Disney has announced that Pete Distad has been named CEO of the new sports streaming service.  He has recently served as an executive at Apple for a decade, following six years at Hulu.  He will assume oversight of all aspects of the joint venture, including overall strategy, distribution, marketing, sales and more.

Distad worked at Apple from 2013-2023, where he was responsible for the business, operations and global distribution for Video, Sports and Apple TV+. While there, he launched the new Apple TV in 2015, and later led teams that launched and scaled the Apple TV app, Apple TV+, and MLS Season Pass. He originally joined the company to lead product marketing for the Apple TV hardware product.

His Hulu experience (2007-2013) included serving as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Distribution on the executive team. He was part of the original Hulu launch team, overseeing customer acquisition and retention, distribution and marketing.

Prior to Hulu, Distad worked in various technology and management consulting roles, including at McKinsey & Company, Calence (now Insight) and Andersen Consulting (now Accenture).

Pete Distad said in a statement:

“This is an incredible opportunity to build and grow a differentiated product that will serve passionate sports fans in the US outside of the traditional pay TV bundle.  I’m excited to be able to pull together the industry-leading sports content portfolios from these three companies to deliver a new best-in-class service.”

ESPN, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery added the following joint statement:

“Pete is an accomplished innovator and leader who has extensive experience with launching and growing new video services. We are confident he and his team will build an extremely compelling, fan-focused product for our target market.”

Upon establishment of the JV, Distad will report to its board of directors, which will include representatives selected by each of the three companies. He will be based at the to-be-established offices of the joint venture in Los Angeles, along with the independent management team he will assemble.

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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