HBO Max to Air First Live Sporting Event in January as U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team Takes on New Zealand
The first domestic live sporting event in HBO Max history is coming to users on Saturday, Jan. 17. The service will stream the U.S. Women’s Soccer National Team as it takes on the New Zealand. It’s the perfect way for U.S. soccer fans to ramp up once again before the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The game is one of more than 20 tilts that will appear on HBO Max, TNT, and TBS this season, featuring the United States national teams. Around half of these games will be featured on the Turner cable networks, and all of them will be streamed simultaneously on HBO Max. The deal between Turner Sports and U.S. Soccer runs for a total of eight seasons, and was announced in March.
The match between the USWNT and New Zealand will be the first time that HBO Max will carry a live sporting event in the United States. The service holds streaming rights to the NHL in both the U.S. and Latin America, but it has not chosen to exercise its domestic deal with the hockey league yet.
The deal does not cover the Women’s World Cup matches in 2023, which will be broadcast by FOX and Telemundo, just as the 2022 Men’s World Cup has been. But, it does include World Cup qualifiers, friendlies, and competitions like the SheBelieves Cup. U.S. soccer joins an already impressive sports lineup offered by Turner networks, which also includes the NBA, men’s college basketball, the NHL, golf, Major League Baseball, and AEW Wrestling.
The introduction of live sports domestically on HBO Max is hardly the first experience HBO’s parent company Warner Bros. Discovery has had with sports streaming. Its other streaming platform discovery+ holds the European streaming rights to the Olympics, and also owns international streaming rights to soccer, tennis, cycling, and more. WBD also streams Champions League soccer in Latin America.
If U.S. Soccer performs well on HBO Max, it would give the service the leverage it needs to add even more live sports offerings in the future. HBO Max and discovery+ are set to merge in early 2023, into a service that will likely be called simply “Max.” WBD has been discussing hosting NBA games on the combined service, with perhaps as many as 40 games per year streaming there.
There has also been speculation that HBO Max could add content from WBD’s sports entertainment website Bleacher Report in the coming months. WBD hasn’t been shy about scourging content from HBO Max, but the addition of more sports offerings could help lure back leery customers.
Max is a subscription video streaming service that gives access to the full HBO library, along with exclusive Max Originals. There are hubs for content from TLC, HGTV, Food Network, Discovery, TCM, Cartoon Network, Travel Channel, ID, and more. Watch hit series like “The Last of Us,” “House of the Dragon,” “Succession,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and more. The service changed its name from “HBO Max” on May 23, 2023.
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