Disney has repeated its commitment to sports steaming with the company in the race for the NFL Sunday Ticket. The entertainment company is also investing in the metaverse, making it one of the big names that have declared support for the new frontier in computing.
CEO of Disney, Bob Chapek, has restated the company’s involvement in sports streaming is deepening. He confirmed recently that Disney is bidding to carry the NFL Sunday Ticket, a move that comes as the company is building up its sports offering.
This news came as Chapek discussed the company’s financial performance for the first quarter of 2022, which corresponds to the last quarter of the 2021 calendar year.
However, Chapek said Disney would back if the investment didn’t bring any value to the shareholders.
Explaining Disney’s motivation for going all-in with sports streaming, Chapek said, “Sporting events continue to be the most powerful draw in television, accounting for 95 of the 100 most-watched live broadcasts in 2021. And ESPN once again set the bar this quarter with live games across each of our four major US sports, including the revolutionary Monday Night with Peyton and Eli.”
Disney is also adding content from the URC, golf, and college football in the next few years.
Chapek also stated that Disney would go into an entirely new aspect of sports, betting. He believes sports betting holds a lot of promise for growth.
“While multi-platform television and streaming will continue to be the foundation of sports coverage for the immediate future, we believe the opportunity for The Walt Disney Company goes well beyond these channels,” Chapek said. “It extends to sports betting, gaming, and the metaverse. In fact, that’s what excites us: the opportunity to build a sports machine akin to our franchise flywheel that enables audiences to experience, connect with and become actively engaged with their favorite sporting events, stories, teams, and players.”
Betting is gradually coming of age as more states legislate on it.
Chapek also commented on Disney’s plans for the metaverse, although he has not been detailed on what his company plans to do with it or how it can work for its business. “We realize that in the future — you can call it what you want, you want to call it metaverse, you want to call it the blending of the physical and digital experiences, which I think Disney should excel at — we realize 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.”
The metaverse has been gaining support since Meta announced its own plans, including changing the company’s name from Facebook. Microsoft has also announced it is taking the metaverse seriously. Walmart has also been noted to be foraying into the metaverse with a raft of applications, including physical fitness training services and classes in the field of health and nutrition that will be offered in AR and VR working environments. Niantic, the company behind the wildly successful mobile game Pokemon Go, is developing a tool for building what it calls real-world metaverse apps.