Advanced Television

Distad named CEO of ESPN/Fox/WBD sports streamer

March 15, 2024

Pete Distad has been named CEO of the soon-to-launch sports streaming service from ESPN, Fox and Warner Bros Discovery. Distad, who most recently served as an executive at Apple for a decade following six years at Hulu, will assume oversight of all aspects of the joint venture, including overall strategy, distribution, marketing, sales and more.

Distad worked at Apple from 2013-2023, where he was responsible for the business, operations and global distribution for Video, Sports and Apple TV+. While there, he launched the new Apple TV in 2015, and later led teams that launched and scaled the Apple TV app, Apple TV+, and MLS Season Pass. He originally joined the company to lead product marketing for the Apple TV hardware product.

His Hulu experience (2007-2013) included serving as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Distribution on the executive team. He was part of the original Hulu launch team, overseeing customer acquisition and retention, distribution and marketing. Prior to Hulu, Distad worked in various technology and management consulting roles, including at McKinsey & Company, Calence (now Insight) and Andersen Consulting (now Accenture).

“This is an incredible opportunity to build and grow a differentiated product that will serve passionate sports fans in the US outside of the traditional pay-TV bundle,” Distad said. “I’m excited to be able to pull together the industry-leading sports content portfolios from these three companies to deliver a new best-in-class service.”

ESPN, Fox and WBD added the following joint statement: “Pete is an accomplished innovator and leader who has extensive experience with launching and growing new video services. We are confident he and his team will build an extremely compelling, fan-focused product for our target market.”

Upon establishment of the JV, Distad will report to its board of directors, which will include representatives selected by each of the three companies. He will be based at the to-be-established offices of the joint venture in Los Angeles, along with the independent management team he will assemble.

The new platform will bring together the companies’ portfolios of sports networks and some of their direct-to-consumer (DTC) sports services – including content from all the major professional US sports leagues and college sports. The formation of the pay service is subject to the negotiation of definitive agreements amongst the parties. It is scheduled to launch in the autumn.

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