Disney CEO Bob Chapek confirmed today that the company is bidding for the NFL Sunday Ticket, reiterating Disney’s commitment to expanding its sports streaming portfolio. In addition to sports-oriented features and vague metaverse plans, Disney plans to innovate its product.
In an interview with CNBC, Chapek confirmed the NFL Sunday Ticket news while discussing Disney’s first-quarter fiscal 2022 earnings. In response to a question from CNBC reporter Julia Boorstin, Disney exec Chapek said, “We’re bidding for it.” After saying, “We’ll go ahead and do it, but the moment that it is not, we’ll back out,” he added: We certainly hope so.”
Bets on Sports Streaming and Metaverse
Chapek reiterated during the company’s earnings call that sports programming is a crucial part of the streaming strategy, praising the success of programming on its subsidiary ESPN.
In 2021, 95 of the top 100 most-watched live broadcasts will be sporting events, according to Nielsen data.” With live games in all four major US sports, “ESPN once again set the bar this quarter, including the revolutionary Monday Night with Peyton and Eli,” Chapek stated. In the next three years, Disney will offer alternative programming for UFC, golf, and college football events, he said.
Sports betting, gaming, and the metaverse are all included
However, Disney’s sports strategy goes far beyond just acquiring rights and airing games. As legalisation spreads across the United States, Disney sees betting as a huge opportunity for growth and interactivity.
Although multi-platform television and streaming will remain the foundation of sports coverage for the foreseeable future, we believe the opportunity for The Walt Disney Company extends far beyond these channels,” Chapek said. “It encompasses everything from sports betting to gaming to the Metaverse. When it comes to building a sports machine like our franchise flywheel, we’re most excited about the prospect of allowing fans to “experience, connect and actively participate in their favourite sporting events.”
Disney Is Placing Bets On Metaverse
Disney’s metaverse plans were also discussed by Chapek, who keeps bringing them up without providing any concrete details.
“We realise that in the future—you can call it metaverse, you can call it the blending of the physical and digital experiences, which I think Disney should excel at—we realise that it’s going to be less of a passive type experience where you just have playback, whether it’s a sporting event or whether it’s an entertainment offering, and more of an interactive, lean-forward, actively engaged type experience.”