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WBD announces deal to bring French Open to TNT Sports in U.S.

A tennis-related stock image
(Stock image via Unsplash)

Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) has officially announced it has secured the rights to the tennis tournament Roland-Garros, more commonly known as the French Open.

The affirmation comes several days after The Athletic reported WBD had secured the French Open rights for TNT Sports in the United States and the streaming service Max. WBD already has the telecast rights to the tournament in Europe, where it is offered on TNT Sports, Eurosport and Discovery Plus.

As part of the deal, WBD will offer exclusive live matches from the Parisian Grand Slam, including feature events on its flagship TNT cable network and ancillary coverage on TBS and Tru TV. Around 900 matches will stream live on Max, which will include simulcasts from WBD’s cable networks.

WBD will also produce and distribute “in-depth highlights, behind-the-scenes and ancillary coverage across all platforms,” including its cable networks and digital streaming services.

“TNT Sports is thrilled to partner with the French Tennis Federation and exclusively present unprecedented coverage of Roland-Garros — one of the most prestigious sports events every year — across our full array of platforms,” Luis Silberwasser, the Chairman and CEO of TNT Sports, said in a statement. “Roland-Garros perfectly aligns with our global sports strategy and our commitment to adding premium live sports content to our TNT Sports portfolio. We look forward to serving fans with a best-in-class content experience and providing them with direct access to more live Roland-Garros coverage than ever before.”

“We’re very proud to sign this agreement with Warner Bros. Discovery, one of the world’s leading media groups,” said Giles Moretton, the President of the French Tennis Foundation. “It will enable the Federation to ensure maximum exposure for Roland-Garros in the USA and help further promote the tournament. With this long-term agreement, we aim to win over new fans in this key territory for the FFT.”

Bringing French Open rights to the United States solidifies WBD as the largest global broadcast partner of Roland-Garros, which dates back to Eurosport’s telecast agreement in 1989. The pan-European sports network was acquired by Discovery Communications more than a decade ago; Discovery merged with WarnerMedia to form WBD in 2021.

The deal comes at a time when WBD is exploring ways to build TNT Sports into a dominant brand, one that is on equal footing with the likes of ESPN, NBC Sports, CBS Sports and Fox Sports. Over the past several years, WBD has signed new agreements or renewed existing ones with the National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Baseball (MLB), NASCAR and the NCAA for live events and related programming.

WBD has served as the home for some nationally-telecast National Basketball Association (NBA) games as well, with its current rights deal expiring next year. NBC Sports and Amazon’s Prime Video are aggressively pursuing a deal to grab those NBA games from WBD.

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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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