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Warner Bros. Discovery Focused on Premium Sports Properties

  • Warner Bros. Discovery has a sports portfolio built on premium events.
  • The company could add those to its streaming service, Max.
An NBA on TNT camera at a basketball game.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Warner Bros. Discovery is looking to premium live sports properties as it shapes content strategies.

WBD CEO David Zaslav turned heads this week by telling CNBC that the company has a “building attack strategy” on sports and news — seemingly in contrast with his previous statement that “we don’t have to have the NBA.” 

But a source familiar with the matter said that nothing has fundamentally changed about WBD’s approach.

The media giant, which owns numerous entities including TNT, Eurosport, and Bleacher Report, is primarily interested in retaining sports rights with a broad appeal, including those of the NBA.

The network is willing to accommodate additional NBA broadcasters as it negotiates for new rights deals, provided that it retains its position as a broadcaster of top regular-season and playoff games.

Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder Bligh Madris (66) is interviewed by AT&T Sportsnet reporter Robbie Inmickowski (right) after making his major league debut against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park. The Pirates won 12-1.

Warner Bros. Discovery Plans Regional Sports Networks Exit

Warner Bros. Discovery is winding down ownership of its regional sports networks.
April 11, 2023

TNT averaged 1.4 million viewers for its NBA broadcasts in the most recent season and had the top five cable NBA telecasts, per sources. The network added around 20 advertisers to its NBA All-Star Game coverage.

The network is taking a similar approach to MLB and the NHL, and will broadcast the Stanley Cup Final for the first time this year.

While live sports haven’t been announced as part of the network’s new streaming service, Max, U.S. Soccer is likely to be included, and other sports properties could be added before long.

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