Disney today reiterated its commitment to expanding its sports streaming portfolio, with Disney boss Bob Chapek confirming that the company is bidding for the NFL Sunday Ticket. Disney also plans to innovate its product around sports-centric features and its still-vague metaverse plans.
Chapek confirmed the NFL Sunday Ticket news
In an interview with CNBC, Chapek confirmed the NFL Sunday Ticket announcement while discussing Disney’s first quarter results for fiscal 2022. “We’re bidding for it,” Chapek said when asked by CNBC’s Julia Boorstin if getting the rights is part of Disney’s plan. “We’ll go ahead and execute it if the investment delivers value for Disney shareholders”. He continued, “but if it doesn’t, we’ll pull out.” And we sincerely hope it is.”
During the company’s earnings call, Chapek emphasized how important sports programming is to the company’s streaming plan, citing the success of its subsidiary ESPN’s programming.
“Sporting events will continue to be the most compelling draw on television in 2021. Accounting for 95 of the top 100 most-watched live broadcasts”.”And ESPN raised the bar again this quarter with live games in each of our four major US sports. Including the ground-breaking Monday Night with Peyton and Eli,” Chapek added. Over the following three years, Disney will provide alternative programming for UFC, golf, and college football games, he said.
Disney sports strategy isn’t merely limited to rights acquisition and game coverage
Disney’s sports approach, though, isn’t just about acquiring rights and covering games. Betting, according to Disney, gives a big possibility for development and involvement, especially as legalization spreads across the United States.
“While multi-platform television and streaming will continue to be the backbone of sports programming for the foreseeable future”. Chapek said, “we believe The Walt Disney Company’s opportunity goes well beyond these channels”. “It includes sports betting, video games, and the Metaverse.”
That’s exactly what excites us. The chance to create a sports machine equivalent to our franchise flywheel that allows fans to interact with, experience. And become actively involved with their favorite athletic events, stories, teams, and players.”
Disney metaverse plans
“We realize that in the future — call it metaverse or the blending of physical and digital experiences, which I believe Disney should excel at — it will be less of a passive type experience where you just have playback, whether it’s a sporting event or an entertainment offering, and more of an interactive, lean-forward, actively engaged type experience.”