March 2, 2022
WarnerMedia’s Turner Sports and the U.S. Soccer Federation have reached an eight-year multimedia rights agreement that will make TNT/TBS and HBO Max the exclusive English-language home to more than 20 women’s and men’s national team matches annually, beginning in 2023.
The new agreement will feature high-profile matches on TNT or TBS and a full slate of matches available through Max. In addition, the partnership will include digital and highlight rights for the Bleacher Report online platform and its related portfolio brands.
Max will live-stream more than 20 United States National Soccer Team matches each year. TNT or TBS will televise approximately half of those matches — all simulcast on Max — with the remaining matches being exclusive to the rapidly growing streaming platform.
“This is a significant milestone for Turner Sports and WarnerMedia, further demonstrating our commitment to the distribution of premium live sports content on Max, while simultaneously fueling our leading entertainment networks, digital and social assets,” Lenny Daniels, president of Turner Sports, said in a statement.
U.S. Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone said the negotiations revolved around Turner’s desire to expand the women’s game. The U.S. Women’s National Team has been a global power for years.
“As we build towards 2026 and beyond, we have found a fantastic partner to spotlight the stories of our women’s and men’s national teams,” Cone said.
Per the terms of the agreement, Turner Sports will be the exclusive domestic, English-language rightsholder for U.S. National Team World Cup qualifiers, National Team friendlies (including premium U.S. matches against Mexico), send-off matches and special events leading up to and following the World Cup and Olympic Games, and the SheBelieves Cup, among additional events involving the Women’s and Men’s National Soccer Teams.
In addition, Turner Sports and Bleacher Report will have exclusive rights to live event coverage, including the potential to create interactive companion broadcasting experiences and/or newly developed matches or tournaments; behind-the-scenes content, such as the opportunity to produce docuseries and ancillary programming; along with bespoke digital experiences, in association with both teams.
Bleacher Report, including its B/R Football platform, will have expansive digital and highlight rights; Turner Sports will have TV Everywhere rights that will allow its networks to make the soccer matches and related programming available to authenticated subscribers across all WarnerMedia platforms. The agreement also includes additional content and storytelling opportunities throughout the WarnerMedia portfolio, e-commerce rights, the possibility of integrating sports betting experiences, among others.
In addition to joining Turner Sports’ portfolio of sports content — which also includes the NBA, Major League Baseball, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship and National Hockey League, along with the depth of interactive fan experiences offered throughout Bleacher Report products and platforms — the partnership with the U.S. Soccer Federation will provide Turner with the opportunity to leverage a network of lifestyle and entertainment brands to drive next-gen soccer fandom and further expand the sport’s growing impact on mainstream culture in the United States.