Warner Bros. Discovery Rebranding BT Sports as TNT Sport in Europe; Does Move Affect Sports Streaming Plans in U.S.?
When Warner Bros. Discovery launches its new sports-dedicated linear channel and streaming service in Europe later this year, it will do so under a different name. That’s according to a report from Deadline, which states that the joint venture between WBD and the British-based BT Sport will be titled “TNT Sports.”
The joint venture first came to light in May 2022, when WBD announced it had reached a deal to combine its Eurosport U.K. business with BT Sport in a 50/50 split. WBD will assume control of BT Sport, merging the two brands into TNT Sports. That service will replace the BT Sport linear network and be available to stream via discovery+.
“The TNT Sports name is already synonymous with premium live sport in a number of countries around the world,” said Andrew Georgiou, President of WBD Sports Europe. [It is] a further sign of the global scale and expertise that Warner Bros. Discovery brings to its partnership with BT.”
The new TNT Sports will offer Premier and Champions League soccer, the Olympics, Moto GP, WWE wrestling, and more. Its addition to discovery+ will boost the service’s already-impressive lineup of live sports offerings in Europe, where it also shows tennis, cycling, and recently picked up the rights to stream PGA golf.
Does this mean that a similar, sports-dedicated service is coming to the United States? Never say never, but it’s unlikely in the near term. WBD is currently focused on ironing out commercial licensing deals with bars and restaurants which will allow them to show soccer games from the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Soccer teams, which WBD secured the rights to in 2022.
However, if such a service were planned for the U.S. in the future, it would make sense for it to fall under the TNT Sports brand as well. The Turner Networks are home to NBA, NHL, and MLB games in the U.S., as well as AEW wrestling and more. Turner is a highly recognized brand for sports coverage domestically, and though WBD executives have indicated that major sports events will remain on the company's linear TV in the U.S. for now, the strategy could change.
Media companies are expected to spend around $8.5 billion on sports rights for streaming services in 2023, and the number will only grow over time. WBD may not be ready to make a big splash in the U.S. sports streaming market, but it is preparing to launch its TNT Sports brand across Europe in the coming months.
discovery+ is a video streaming service that offers more than 70,000 episodes of 2,500+ current and classic shows from several popular TV brands including Discovery, Investigation Discovery, HGTV, TLC, Food Network, A&E, Lifetime, and History.
The service primarily focuses on non-fiction programming or “reality” TV shows.
discovery+ is available with limited ads for $4.99 / month or ad-free for $6.99 / month.