FOX Sports has long had a digital platform in mind for the company’s future.
But it was the decision to launch a live stream of its NBA game on Wednesday, that finally convinced Fox Sports execs that it could be a viable and sustainable revenue stream.
While ESPN, which already sells digital rights to its NFL, NBA and NHL games, has long been the primary source of revenue for Fox Sports, digital has been a different story for Fox.
In 2016, ESPN launched a digital subscription service, which has helped boost the sports network’s ad revenues and subscriber numbers.
ESPN has also had a robust online presence, with over 4 million sports fans paying an annual subscription fee for access to ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.
But in the new digital era, ESPN has found itself in a precarious position, one where its subscriber base is declining rapidly and its digital content, and its live broadcasts, are also becoming more limited.
That’s because ESPN has not only struggled to build a subscription service to meet the needs of its audience, but also has found that it is now forced to compete with competitors who have been investing heavily in their own live streaming platforms.
In the past year alone, ESPN’s streaming revenue has dropped by nearly $5 million, and by the end of 2017, the network was only making about $5.5 million a year on digital.
That doesn’t include the roughly $1.2 billion in losses the network suffered in 2016, as it went from having a subscriber base of around 14 million to only around 10 million.
In its new announcement on Wednesday morning, Fox Sports said that it had launched its “first ever digital subscription to deliver premium content across all platforms, including live streaming and our exclusive digital edition of The Big Lead.
This launch comes on the heels of a massive digital slate we unveiled at the end.
It includes live coverage of the U.S. Open, the Ryder Cup, the Masters, the Australian Open, and more.”
This isn’t the first time that Fox Sports and ESPN have been forced to look for new revenue streams. “
Our goal is to make our subscribers and fans proud.”
This isn’t the first time that Fox Sports and ESPN have been forced to look for new revenue streams.
In 2018, Fox bought the NBA for a reported $3 billion.
This followed the launch of a digital sports-centric network, the NBA Network, in 2015.
In that same year, Fox also began experimenting with live streaming its coverage of its professional sports games on its new, subscription-based NBATV platform.
But with the digital era in full swing, ESPN and Fox are finding themselves in a similar position as they look to launch their own standalone streaming service, or even a joint venture with others to compete against rivals like Amazon and Netflix.
“The digital ecosystem has made ESPN one of the biggest pay TV providers in the world, and now it is going to have to take on a new challenge to compete on the same footing as all the other big sports channels,” ESPN’s senior vice president of global entertainment and digital Mike Ilitch told reporters after the announcement.
“We have to go from a platform that is growing revenue to a platform where we can build a real business model.”