Thursday December 7, 2023

HBO Max on Streaming Sidelines, For Now

Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY/Design: Alex Brooks
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

Streaming is the future of sports broadcasts, but it’s unclear what that means for HBO Max.

The service, which launched a little over a year ago, added 2.7 million subscribers in Q1 2021 for a total of 44.2 million. 

But HBO Max isn’t ready to join the sports streaming wars just yet, despite Turner Sports — another WarnerMedia subsidiary — signing a reported seven-year, $225 million deal with the NHL in April, in addition to rights it already holds for NBA, MLB, and NCAA men’s basketball broadcasts.

  • When the NHL deal was announced, chairman of WarnerMedia news and sports Jeff Zucker downplayed its impact on HBO Max.
  • “We’re going to figure that out now,” he said, later adding, “It’s not imminent and it’s not going to happen this year. Our emphasis in the year ahead will certainly be on TNT and TBS.”

A month later, AT&T announced that it was spinning off WarnerMedia to merge with Discovery in a $130 billion deal, but how that affects sports on HBO Max is still uncertain.

“It’s just not, ‘How do we present those games?’” Andy Forssell, general manager of HBO Max, said at an investor conference last week. “What shoulder content goes around it? Should the talent that’s connected to it be different in the digital world?”

While AT&T CEO John Stankey says “the new company will have a content spend that exceeds most of its industry peers,” the newly-titled Warner Bros. Discovery will face stiff competition from other services.

Disney, ViacomCBS, NBCUniversal, and Amazon have rights to stream everything from the NFL to WWE, and are already airing live sports on their respective services.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

NWSL’s Record Media Deals Drive Schedule Expansion

The league will grow to a 26-match schedule in 2024.

NBA Viewers Like the In-Season Tourney. What About Broadcasters?

The NBA In-Season Tournament could attract new media partners.

NHL Plans To Stage 2024 Draft At $2.3B Vegas Sphere

League becomes first sports entity to stage an event entire at venue.

NHL's Projected Record Salary Cap Reflects Revenue Surge (and Resilience)

Increased media revenue, rising attendance fuel post-pandemic recovery.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Why the NBA May Have Made Billions With Midseason Tournament


Featured Today

The College Football Playoff is considering rotating TV networks for the national championship game.

CFP Considers Super Bowl-Like Rotation For National Championship Game

Multiple networks could share rights to the championship game, sources told FOS.
Brett Favre
November 27, 2023

Favre Welfare Case Hold-Up? "AG’s Office Has Not Expressed Interest In Pursuing"

The DOJ interviewed Brett Favre in early 2020.
The future of the Pac-12 rests on a court decision.
November 24, 2023

The Pac-12 Plays Its Final Regular-Season Game. Then A Court Decides Its Fate.

The conference's future rests with a court decision.
Lane Kiffin
November 9, 2023

Ole Miss, Lane Kiffin Lawyers Argue for Dismissal of Player Lawsuit

FOS obtained audio of Lane Kiffin's interaction with the player behind lawsuit.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Multiple Locations
Multiple Locations
Creative Artists Agency
Multiple Locations
Sports Illustrated

‘The Amount of Useless Stuff You Guys Do Is Staggering.’ Inside a Shakeup at Sports Illustrated’s Publisher

The new owner of the company that operates SI made a jarring first impression Wednesday, warning his employees: 'No one is important.'
ESPN Stephen A. Smith
December 5, 2023

Stephen A. Smith to ESPN: ‘I Want To Be Highest-Paid Talent’

With a No. 1 show, Stephen A. Smith wants to become number one in compensation.
Eagles Niners
December 6, 2023

Eagles-49ers Achieves Fox's Highest Sunday Viewership of Season

Fox's broadcast of 49ers vs. Eagles pulls in 27.7M viewers.

NHL’s Chris Foster on Amplifying Content Distribution With Automation

Learn how the NHL is using WSC Sports to increase fan engagement.
December 5, 2023

Seminoles’ CFP Snub Opens New Front in Disney vs. Florida War

Florida lawmakers are already considering legislation to protest the College Football Playoff's exclusion of Florida State.
The Australia men's cricket team celebrating winning the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup.
December 4, 2023

Amazon Secures ICC Cricket Broadcast Media Rights in Australia

Prime Video will be Australia's exclusive home for ICC events through 2027.
English Premier League teams Leeds United and Brighton Hove & Albion in action during a match.
December 4, 2023

Premier League Reasserts Dominance With $8.5B Domestic Rights Deals

Deals achieve small rights fee increase for top European league.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott throws a pass during the first half against the Seattle Seahawks at AT&T Stadium.
December 4, 2023

Amazon Bounces Back With Record Viewership

The Dallas Cowboys’ win over the Seattle Seahawks averaged 15.26 million viewers.