Disney Placing Bets On Sports Streaming And The Metaverse
Metaverse is a new bandwagon and currently everyone wants to get onboard! Well, Disney is no exception to the ‘Bandwagon Effect’ and is now betting on the metaverse. Metaverse is such a space on the internet where people can interact with each other digitally, just like they would in the real world.
Disney has confirmed today about the company bidding for the NFL Sunday Ticket. This is after the company had mentioned earlier too about its commitment to expand their sports streaming portfolio. Also, Bob Chapek, CEO of Disney, also announced their plan to innovate products centring sports personalities and also still unplanned metaverse plans.
It was in an interview with CNBC that Chapek confirmed the bidding for NFL Sunday Ticket. He commented that Disney will invest in anything that is valuable to its customers and will back out of anything that is not. He has always been of the opinion that sports programming is an important aspect of the company’s streaming strategy. His statement was, “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 set to include alternative programming for UFC, golf, and college football events over the course of the next three years.
Commenting on its still vague plans about entering the metaverse, Chapek said that though their foundation is television-based coverage and streaming, they believe in the great potential that opportunities beyond these traditional media hold. “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”, he said.
Though his statements make it clear that Disney is interested in the metaverse, it is also clear that as yet, Disney does not have concrete plans in this matter. Chapek does mention a lot of times about the metaverse but has never specified what Disney in the metaverse might look like. Even in the interview with CNBC, he mentions that he believes Disney will “excel at (metaverse)”. Although, he does mention that Disney in the metaverse will be more active than passive, “whether it’s a sporting event or whether it’s an entertainment offering”, Disney will offer “an interactive, lean-forward, actively engaged type experience.”
From all this, it is clear that Disney does intend to enter the metaverse and has some initial ideas about the same, but nothing concrete has been planned yet. But based on all the thing Chapek has stated, once in reality, Disney in the metaverse might actually be ‘top-of-mind’, as he calls it.