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Nadler, Castro Raise Competition Concerns with Disney-FOX-WBD Joint Sports Streaming Venture

Today, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler and Representative Joaquin Castro (D-TX) sent a letter to the Chief Executive Officers of the Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. Discovery, and FOX, seeking more information about the companies’ new joint sports streaming venture (“JV”). The unnamed JV, which was announced in February and is expected to debut this fall, unites the three most dominant programmers in the sports streaming space, which collectively own the rights to 80 percent of all sports streaming content. 

The members explain, “As programmers, your companies exert tremendous influence over pricing across the live sports TV ecosystem. Upstream, programmers negotiate content licensing deals with sports leagues like the National Football League and the National Basketball Association for the media rights to their sports events. Downstream, programmers determine the terms on which video distributors may license programmers’ sports channels.”  

“Without more complete information about the pricing, intent, and organization of this new venture, we are concerned that this consolidation will result in higher prices for consumers and less fair licensing terms for upstream sports leagues and downstream video distributors.”  

To determine whether the JV will reduce competition and harm consumers, the members ask the companies to submit responses to a series of questions about the JV’s intent, pricing, licensing, and organizational structure. 

The companies have until April 30 to respond via email and are instructed to copy the Department of Justice in their reply.  

A full copy of the letter can be read here.
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