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WBD to expand TNT Sports identity, programming on Tru TV

(From left) Shaquille O’Neal, Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley on the set of “NBA on TNT” in November 2023. (Still frame via TNT Sports broadcast)

Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) says it will air nearly 1,000 hours of live sports on its basic cable network Tru TV this year, with plans to significantly increase the amount of live and ancillary sports programming on the channel into 2025.

On Tuesday, WBD executives affirmed Tru TV will incorporate more of the TNT Sports brand this fall when the channel adds more live events and coverage of the MLB post-season, NBA, NHL, U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Soccer Teams, Mountain West football, MotoGP and other athletic competitions.

In addition to the expanded programming schedule, WBD says the TNT Sports brand and related graphics will be “dynamically integrated” into the programming schedule on Tru TV. The company didn’t reveal the specific strategy behind that move, but it appears similar to the way WBD promotes the Adult Swim programming block on Cartoon Network. WBD typically sells Adult Swim as a separate channel that time-shares with Cartoon Network on cable and satellite systems.

“We’re very pleased with the early launch of the TNT Sports programming block on Tru TV and will expand our commitment to bolstering the dedicated prime-time sports line-up this fall,”  said Craig Barry the Executive Vice President and Chief Content Officer at TNT Sports. “Just as Adult Swim takes over for a different audience at night from Cartoon Network, we aspire for TNT Sports on Tru TV to be a go-to destination for a dynamic range of fans seeking not only more premium sports, but also alternate ways to experience and enjoy them, along with additional culturally relevant and entertaining sports content.”

WBD first laid out plans to incorporate more TNT Sports-branded content into Tru TV in March. Since then, the channel has provided TNT Sports with another avenue to reach cable audiences with alternative simulcasts of live baseball, basketball and hockey games, as well as spillover programming and sports recap shows.

Next year, TNT Sports will expand the amount of live events offered on Tru TV with the inclusion of NASCAR practice and qualifying races, coverage of the French Open (Roland Garros) tournament and college men’s basketball games from the Big East Conference. Mountain West football games will begin airing on the channel this fall, as will continuing coverage of professional baseball, basketball and soccer.

WBD says more sports programming on Tru TV will be announced in the coming months.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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