Pete DIstad

The sports streaming joint venture formed by ESPN, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery is one step closer to fruition following Friday’s announcement that Pete Distad had been named the first CEO of the service.

Distad’s appointment was announced in a release, which states that Distad “will assume oversight of all aspects of the joint venture, including overall strategy, distribution, marketing, sales, and more.”

Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Distad was “among the top candidates” for the CEO position.

Over the last decade and a half, Distad has worked for both Hulu and Apple. At Hulu, Distad was the SVP of Marketing and Distribution and was part of the team that launched the streaming service back in 2007. While with Apple, Distad “was responsible for the business, operations and global distribution for Video, Sports and Apple TV+.” He also led the teams that launched the Apple TV app, Apple TV+, and MLS Season Pass.

Both Distad and the ESPN/Fox/WBD troika released statements about his hiring.

“This is an incredible opportunity to build and grow a differentiated product that will serve passionate sports fans in the US outside of the traditional pay TV bundle,” Distad said. “I’m excited to be able to pull together the industry-leading sports content portfolios from these three companies to deliver a new best-in-class service.”

ESPN, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery added the following joint statement: “Pete is an accomplished innovator and leader who has extensive experience with launching and growing new video services. We are confident he and his team will build an extremely compelling, fan-focused product for our target market.”

Distad seems to check every box the three companies were looking for in a CEO, and looking in from the outside, he does seem like an ideal hire. Now that a CEO is in place, I’m sure we’ll keep learning more about the joint venture in the weeks and months ahead.

[ESPN, image via ESPN]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.