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Ex-Apple executive in the running to lead joint ESPN, Warner, and Fox sports streamer

Pete Distad (Source: LinkedIn)

Pete Distad once headed up sports on Apple TV+, and is now in the running to become CEO of the as-yet unnamed sports streaming network formed by the likes of Disney and Warner.

Distad was senior director of Video, Sports, and Apple TV+ until May 2023, when he left Apple. At the time, there was no news of what he would be doing next, and according to his sparse LinkedIn profile, he hasn't joined another company since then.

According to the Wall Street Journal, however, he is now being considered for the Chief Executive role in the new sports streaming service. The publication notes that he is not the only person under consideration, but none of the others have been revealed.

The new CEO is expected to be selected in the coming weeks, while the streaming service will launch later 2024. Reportedly, what the trio of ESPN, Fox, and Warner are looking for with a CEO is someone who knows marketing subscription services, and understands churn, the regular customer turnover.

While at Apple, Distad was reportedly involved in negotiating a 10-year agreement with Major League Soccer that was worth $2.2 billion.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the new sports streamer will feature 14 networks, which will include all of ESPN and the ABC network's output. It's expected that it may cost $50 per month, and reportedly analysts are predicting that the service will encompass around 55% of US sports rights.

The new deal between these firms does appear to contradict analyst Dan Ives "when not if" certainty that ESPN would be sold to Apple.