Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) and BT relaunched its British sports joint venture under the TNT Sports name this week.
The channel, formerly known as BT Sport, will continue to offer live events as the core of its programming, and will allow British streamers to watch select sports coverage via WBD’s flagship streaming service Discovery Plus in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
TNT Sports will replace BT Sport on most pay television platforms, including Comcast’s Sky satellite and streaming service, BT TV and Virgin Media. Existing BT Sport customers will automatically have their subscriptions converted to TNT Sports, while streamers in the U.K. can watch TNT Sports through a new premium tier of Discovery Plus that costs £30 per month (about $40 per month).
Live sports programming previously carried on BT Sport will move over to TNT Sports, including matches from the Premier League, UEFA Europa League, Champions League and UEFA Europa Conference League, along with UFC, Boxing, WWE, MotoGP, Cricket and Gallagher Premiership Rugby matches and events.
“We are hugely excited to launch TNT Sports across the UK and Republic of Ireland,” Andrew Georgiou, the managing director of WBD Sports Europe, said in a statement. “TNT Sports goes live with a new and contemporary brand, a fabulous new and exciting line-up of talent, great value for viewers as well as flexible ways to buy and watch. From today, fans can watch TNT Sports in the same places they enjoyed BT Sport and without any interruption to their access.”
Georgiou said adding TNT Sports to Discovery Plus helps the company reach more customers who prefer streaming over traditional pay TV, allowing them to access live sports and related programming without a cable or satellite set-top box.
“With TNT Sports now on Discovery Plus in the U.K., we can begin to deliver a simple and even more compelling offer that appeals to the whole household, combining more live sport together with entertainment,” Georgiou said. “We believe this is an exceptional value proposition for fans offering a compelling combination of sport and entertainment that is unique to Discovery Plus.”
On traditional and streaming television, TNT Sports will be offered as a multiplex sports network, to include TNT Sports 1, TNT Sports 2, TNT Sports 3 and TNT Sports 4. Six other digital channels will bear the TNT Sports name, and will be accessible via the “red button” on most set-top boxes and TV sets. (In Ireland, the digital channels will only be available on Sky at launch.)
Officials at WBD say they are working with Sky to offer TNT Sports subscribers access to the streaming versions of the multiplex network through the premium plan of Discovery Plus, which should come at a later date. When it does, Sky customers who have TNT Sports on their plans will be able to access the service on Sky Q boxes as well as Sky Stream devices and Sky Glass TV sets.
WBD is also announcing a roster of new talent that will be joining TNT Sports.
Laura Woods has been hired to host TNT Sports’ coverage of UEFA Champions League, starting next season, along with select boxing matches on fight nights (Carl Frampton will also serve as a lead boxing analyst). Reshmin Chowdhury will join Woods in offering coverage during UEFA Champions League matches after previously presenting UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League events. Ally McCoist will join TNT Sports as a co-commentator and pundit for Premiere League and UEFA Champions League matches.
Lynsey Hipgrave will continue to offer coverage of Premiere League matches after starting at BT Sport during the 2022-2023 season, while Jules Breach will expand her role to include UEFA Europa League coverage as well as key matches Premier League and UEFA Champions League. Breach will also host a new Premiere League-focused show that will air Saturdays on TNT Sports.
Rio Ferdinand, Peter Crouch and Joe Cole will offer regular insight and analysis on professional football (soccer) matches, and will be joined by a rotating roster of experts that includes Rachel Brown-Finnis, Owen Hargreaves, Steve McManaman, Joleon Lescott, Michael Owen, Paul Scholes and Robbie Savage.
TNT Sports will also be joined by commentators Darren Fletcher, Adam Summerton and Lucy Ward, who will offer insight and expert analysis on all major sporting events.
Orla Chennaoui is joining TNT Soorts to cover rugby matches and related news, and will continue to serve as the cycling presenter on pan-European sports channel Eurosport. (Eurosport and TNT Sports share common ownership.) Alastair Eykyn and Nick Mullins will commentate on live rugby matches, while Craig Doyle will serve as an on-air host. Ugo Monye will expand his role to include presenting rugby matches.
Stuart Hogg and Emily Scarratt will join TNT Sports as new rugby pundits, joining the channel’s line-up of rugby experts, to include Martin Bayfield, Lawrence Dallaglio, Brian O’Driscoll, Sarra Elgan, Austin Healey, Ben Kay and Sam Warburton.
Suzi Perry will offer coverage of MotoGP on the channel, and will be joined by 2003 Superbike World Champion Neil Hodgson, who will deliver expert analysis during the season. Gavin Emmett, Michael Laverty, and Natalie Quirk will present MotoGP events on TNT Sports. Radzi Chinyanganya will offer coverage and analysis of various live sports on TNT Sports, while also continuing to work for Eurosport.