Stay on top of today’s constantly changing media environment with DirectAvenue’s insights. We give you specific  network updates and emerging media trends in a digestible format.

     1. Walmart buys Vizio for $2.3B.

Walmart is set to acquire Vizio Holding Corp., the renowned smart TV manufacturer for $2.3 billion. According to Walmart, this acquisition will enhance and broaden advertisers’ engagement with customers, leading to a more significant impact from their advertising investments with the company.

Michael Morris, media analyst for Guggenheim Securities believes “the deal will have an impact for advertiser demand-side advertising platform (DSP) The Trade Desk.” But Morris says there is a cost with buying ad inventory via Trade Desk, as opposed to Walmart’s now owned Vizio’s smart TV ad system. Brands can lower their cost now by buying directly from Walmart.” *₁

    2. ESPN, Fox, and Warner Brothers Discovery plan to launch joint sports streaming platform.

ESPN, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery intend to introduce a collaborative sports streaming service later in the current year. The service will be operated by a newly established entity with its distinct leadership structure, although it has not been named or priced yet. The offering will cater to sports enthusiasts with a leaner selection of linear networks compared to traditional cable packages, specifically designed to meet the preferences of this audience.

“The launch of this new streaming sports service is a significant moment for Disney and ESPN, a major win for sports fans, and an important step forward for the media business,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement. “This means the full suite of ESPN channels will be available to consumers alongside the sports programming of other industry leaders as part of a differentiated sports-centric service.” *2

   3. MLB to own RSNS as streaming services?

Some sports leagues are increasingly interested in controlling the distribution of their content, whether it’s through traditional broadcasting channels, emerging streaming platforms, or other avenues. Major League Baseball stands out due to the extensive nature of its operations, with each of its 30 teams playing 162 games throughout the season.

“Rob Manfred, commissioner of Major League Baseball, wants to launch a league-owned direct-to-consumer (D2C) streaming service in time for the 2025 professional baseball season. His hope is to sign on at least half of 30 baseball clubs as the basis for that business.” *₃

*1 Media Post, Walmart Buys Vizio For $2.3B, February 2024

*2 Media Post, ESPN, Fox, and Warner Brothers Discovery plan to launch joint sports streaming platform, February 2024

*³ Media Post, MSB Wants To Own RSNs as Streaming Services- Should Other Sports Follow?, February 2024

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