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Former Apple exec to lead new sports streaming service from ESPN, Fox, Warner Bros. Discovery

Former Apple executive Pete Distad has been tapped to run the soon-to-launch joint sports streaming service from Warner Bros. Discovery, ESPN and Fox.

Distad, 50, will oversee the strategy, distribution, marketing and sales of the yet-to-be-named new venture, which is expected to debut in the fall.

The veteran exec has plenty of experience with streaming services. He was responsible for the business, operations and global distribution for video, sports and Apple TV+ during his 10-year tenure with the tech giant.

Pete Distad has been tapped to helm the new sports venture from Fox, ESPN and Warner Bros. Discovery. Courtesy of Disney/Fox/Warner Bros. Discovery
Pete Distad has been tapped to helm the new sports venture from Fox, ESPN and Warner Bros. Discovery. Courtesy of Disney/Fox/Warner Bros. Discovery

Prior to that, he served as senior vice president of marketing and distribution at Hulu.

“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,” Distad said Friday.

“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.”

Last month, Warner Bros. Discovery, Fox and the Disney-owned ESPN said they were joining forces to create a new streaming platform that would tap into their vast sports assets to compete with the likes of Amazon and Apple.

The service will include games from major sports leagues and the top college conferences and be available on Max, Hulu and ESPN+. The cost of the service has not yet been announced, but media experts have pinned the price point somewhere north of $40 a month.

In a joint statement Friday, ESPN, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery lauded Distad: “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.”

The ambitious streaming service will be available on Max, Hulu and ESPN+ when it launches in the fall. AP
The ambitious streaming service will be available on Max, Hulu and ESPN+ when it launches in the fall. AP

The new CEO will report to the venture’s board of directors, which will include representatives selected by each of the three companies.

He will be based in Los Angeles at the venture’s yet-to-be-established offices.