Fox, Disney, Warner Bros Discovery sports venture expects 5 million subscribers in five years


FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Times Square Disney store is seen in Times Square, New York City, U.S. December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Nick Pfosi/File Photo

(Reuters) - The sports streaming venture formed by Walt Disney, Warner Bros Discovery and Fox Corp expects to have 5 million subscribers in its first five years, Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch said on Monday.

The companies last month announced plans for the sports-centric service that is hoping to get younger viewers and will launch later this autumn.

"We're running really hard and really fast to get the service up and running before the start of the college football season this year," Murdoch said at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom conference.

Pricing for the service — which would have rights to the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and college competitions — could be higher than what people have talked about, Murdoch added.

CNBC reported in February the yet-to-be-named service is expected to be priced at above $40 per month, adding the firms have identified an executive who would be named at a later date.

Murdoch said the companies will get paid on a per-subscriber basis and he does not have any concerns about regulatory hurdles about the joint venture.

The addressable market for the new venture is expected to be between 50 million and 60 million, Murdoch said, adding it is half of the television households in the United States which will be open to taking this new package.

The new entity will be jointly owned by the three media companies, with equal board representation, and agree to license their sports content on a non-exclusive basis, Reuters reported last month, as media companies are betting on the sports-streaming service to drive subscriptions.

(Reporting by Jaspreet Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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