Sports clubs, leagues and federations are accelerating investment in their direct-to-consumer strategies, developing next-generation apps and streaming services.
Objectives include gathering first-party fan data, diversifying revenue streams, and extending reach in growing markets and among younger audiences.
New league streaming apps supplement broadcaster coverage in core markets and enable new partnership arrangements with incumbent pay-TV operators and online video marketplaces.
Newspaper mergers are likely to be subject to both a competition and public interest process, representing a hurdle for potential buyers.
Warner Bros. Discovery is grappling with declining legacy cable revenues and its $48 billion debt burden. DTC losses have attenuated but de-leveraging will be trickier post-2023 as many of the easier cost-savings have been achieved.
The US launch of its DTC offering, Max, attempts to dovetail IP from across Warner Bros., alongside Discovery's food, lifestyle and documentary programming, and soon, CNN. Adding sports may prove more challenging.
In Europe, WBD’s rational strategy would be to maintain a mixed distribution strategy, agreeing exclusive deals for its DTC platform with incumbent aggregators such as Sky.