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Disney needs to transition ESPN from linear TV to streaming — and the NBA and NFL could be the companions that assist the corporate try this. In accordance with CNBC, Disney CEO Bob Iger and ESPN chief Jimmy Pitaro held talks with each leagues about bringing them on as minority buyers within the sports activities community.

In an interview with CNBC final week, Iger hinted at promoting a few of Disney’s linear TV property like ABC however famous sports activities content material on ESPN nonetheless “stands very, very tall” with the power to succeed in thousands and thousands of individuals. Nevertheless, when requested about bringing ESPN to streaming, Iger talked about having “strategic companions” that might assist full that shift away from cable.

“We’re going to be open-minded about on the lookout for strategic companions”

“We’re going to be open-minded about on the lookout for strategic companions that might both assist us with distribution or content material,” Iger mentioned. “I’m not gonna get too detailed about it, however we’re bullish about sports activities typically as a media property.”

If the sports activities leagues determine to take a stake in ESPN, CNBC factors out that this might ruffle the feathers of a few of Disney’s rivals, resembling NBCUniversal and Fox, as it could consequence within the groups working extra intently with ESPN somewhat than different networks. It would imply much less cash for the NFL and NBA, too, which regularly strike profitable offers with a number of media companions in the course of the season.

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