Warner Bros. Discovery is planning to offer streamers the ability to watch all the sporting events that were previously available on cable, but at an additional cost. With rights deals with major sports leagues such as the NBA, MLB, NHL, and NCAA “March Madness” tournaments, Warner Bros. Discovery hopes to attract attention to its streaming service, Max, by launching the new “Bleacher Report” add-on package starting on October 5th. This package will also provide access to popular programming like TNT’s “Inside the NBA” and international events like the “24 Hours of Le Mans.” The company aims to livestream 300 games per year and is focused on finding customers wherever possible.
The new package is set to debut on October 5th, coinciding with the start of the MLB postseason and NHL’s next season. However, the additional cost for access to Bleacher Report will kick in by the time NCAA’s “March Madness” begins. Starting from February 29th, Bleacher Report will cost $9.99 per month. Warner Bros. Discovery is confident in its ability to succeed in the digital streaming market, as its sports broadcasts are a significant part of the economics of cable networks TNT and TBS. These broadcasters had dozens of live sports broadcasts in 2022, generating $1.6 billion in advertising revenue, which accounted for nearly 5% of the company’s overall revenue. Despite this, Warner needs to prove to Wall Street that it can generate profits from streaming, and the new Bleacher Report package is part of its efforts to do so.
Warner Bros. Discovery is also planning to launch its CNN Max service on the streaming hub, further expanding its offerings. The company recognizes that more viewers are transitioning from traditional cable to streaming services, but this shift may upset distributors who invest heavily in linear networks. Warner executives assure that they are not taking content away from cable and are keeping things simple for viewers. They aim to provide clear and transparent choices based on viewers’ preferences. The company plans to add more content and technology features as the service evolves, such as multiple camera angles and the ability to watch games from the beginning. They are even considering tailored sports broadcasts for specific viewer niches or with different commentators.
Warner Bros. Discovery believes that the addition of news and sports options to Max’s entertainment offerings will keep subscribers engaged and generate new revenue. As the NCAA’s “March Madness” approaches and free sports slots come to an end, the company will likely intensify its efforts to promote Max. They are determined to go “door to door” to attract more customers.