Ex-Apple executive vying to lead joint sports streamer ESPN, Warner and Fox

Pete Distad (Source: LinkedIn)

Pete Distad once headed the sports channel on Apple TV+, and is now in the running to become CEO of an as-yet-unnamed sports network created by the likes of Disney and Warner.

Distad was senior director of video, sports and Apple TV+ until May 2023, when he left Apple. At the time, there was no news about what he would do next, and according to his meager LinkedIn profile, he hasn't joined another company since.

However, according to the Wall Street Journal, he is currently being considered for the position of CEO of a new sports streaming service. The publication notes that he is not the only suspect, but none of the others have yet been revealed.

A new CEO is expected to be selected in the coming weeks, with the streaming service expected to launch later in 2024. The trio of ESPN, Fox and Warner is reportedly looking for a CEO who knows subscription marketing and understands the churn of loyal customers.

While at Apple, Distad was reportedly involved in negotiations for a 10-year deal with Major League Soccer worth $2.2 billion.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the new sports streamer will include 14 networks, including all ESPN channels and the ABC networks. It is expected that it could cost $50 per month, and analysts reportedly predict that the service will cover about 55% of sports rights in the US.

The new deal between the firms appears to contradict analyst Dan Ives' “when not if” belief that ESPN will be sold to Apple.

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