Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) officially unveiled a live sports add-on package that will deliver baseball, basketball and hockey events through the streaming service Max.
The add-no, called Bleacher Report Sports, will be included in the normal cost of a Max subscription for several months before converting to a $10 per month add-on, WBD officials said on Tuesday. Currently, Max costs $10 a month for an advertisement-supported version of the service and between $16 and $20 per month for content without ads.
“We’re thrilled to offer WBD’s incredible portfolio of premium U.S. live sports – featuring simulcasts of our must-see MLB, NHL, NBA, NCAA and U.S. Soccer events, among others – as part of B/R Sports Add-On’s wie assortment of compelling, multi-sports content on Max,” J.B. Perrette, the CEO and president of global streaming and games at WBD, said in a statement.
“The greatest collection of entertainment, news and now sports all in one place — this makes Max the most-complete streaming service for consumers and reaffirms why Max is truly the one to watch,” Perrette continued.
The addition of a sports tier into Max was not exactly a close secret: Reports have been trickling in for months that WBD wanted to incorporate more live sports content into the streaming service since its initial experiments to bring live women’s soccer games were successful earlier this year.
In August, CNBC reported WBD was targeting the start of Major League Baseball’s (MLB) post-season playoffs to launch the sports add-on. The rights to MLB playoff games are split between WBD’s comedy-centric cable channel TBS and Fox’s broadcast and cable sports networks.
At the time, CNBC said WBD was still working out a deal with the National Basketball Association that would see nationally-televised games from TNT stream on Max. That deal now appears to be in place.
“We want to be everywhere sports fans are and our unparalleled offering of leading sports, combined with the power of the Bleacher Report brand and content, including the unique way B/R engages with young sports fans, all delivered through the new Max platform will enable us to broaden our audience and delight new fans,” Luis Silberwasser, the chairman and CEO of WBD Sports, said on Tuesday. “We are uniquely positioned to offer viewers the best selection of premium sports and exciting events and fan-focused additional programming, all within a fantastic multi-sport product that will meet the evolving consumption needs of our viewers, both casual and hardcore sports fans.”
WBD says all live games aired on TBS, TNT and TruTV will also stream on Max. That includes more than 60 regular-season National Hockey League (NHL) games, live coverage of the NBA’s Opening Night on October 24 as well as 65 regular-season NBA games. All told, there will be more than 300 live sports events streamed through Max every year, WBD said.
Initial games will be available as part of a Max subscription; WBD plans to start charging $10 a month for the service by March 2024.
The decision to put live sports on Max comes as WBD is working to unwind its regional sports business, which impacts less than a half-dozen channels branded as AT&T SportsNet. WBD acquired the regional sports networks following AT&T’s spin-off of WarnerMedia last year.