How Big A Market Does Venu Sports Need?

If sports TV-streaming viewers are really the lynchpin for success for legacy TV-media companies, where is the consumer and financial line they need to hit? 

Recently, the companies' joint venture effort for this sports streamer disclosed a name: Venu Sports (pronounced: venue), with a launch date of this fall.

Venu Sports -- backed by Walt Disney-Fox Corp.-Warner Bros. Discovery -- could hit five million subscribers in five years, according to Lachlan Murdoch, CEO of Fox Corp.

Does that seem like a right number for an expensive sports specific streaming platform, where analysts anticipate an expensive monthly price tag of $45 to $50?



From the industry side of things, that might seem like a good deal -- considering that traditional pay TV packages of sports and entertainment networks are around $90 or more a month.

But consumers might see it differently -- paying $90 or more, to get that content. This means not just sports, for entertainment networks, but still valuable live, linear cable TV news networks.

New research, via a consumer survey from Aluma Insights, suggests 20% of current pay TV subscribers as “moderately” inclined to buy into Venu. For those who are now cord-cutters, called ‘pay TV refugees” by Aluma, that number is around 10%.

All that means -- at least from the current traditional pay TV universe (including virtual pay TV)now at 73 million. --  this means a  possible 14.6 million potential subscribers could sign on. Factoring $40 a month, around $500 a year per subscriber, means $7.3 billion in estimated subscription revenues. All this does not include any advertising revenues.

So, yes, that does sound like a good business. But behaviorally, consumers would then have to figure out what other streaming bundles they would need. 

Ideally these legacy TV-media companies should also come up with more entertainment bundles. Already Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery is planning a Disney+ and Max bundle. 

And then, of course, traditional pay TV distributors, such as Comcast are offering up a ‘StreamSaver’ package of CTV platforms which will include Peacock, Netflix, and Apple TV+.

The question then becomes how much bundling do consumers actually need -- from all current entertainment, sports, audio and other related recreational channels?

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