Max, the streaming service under the Warner Bros. Discovery umbrella, is set to introduce a live sports tier for its US subscribers, beginning on October 5th. This new offering, known as the Bleacher Report Sports add-on, aims to provide a diverse range of live sports content to Max subscribers.
The Bleacher Report Sports add-on will be available to Max subscribers at a monthly cost of $9.99. Notably, existing Max subscribers will have the opportunity to access this sports tier at no additional charge until February 29, 2024.
Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav had previously hinted at the addition of live sports to Max in April at a virtual press event for Max. He underscored the importance of live content in growing the streaming business, recognizing the shift away from cable TV towards streaming services.
"We're a global leader in sports. And we're a global leader in news," Zaslav said. "And in a few months, we'll come back to you with details of our attack plan to use this important and differentiating live content to grow our streaming business even further."
Max's live sports tier is set to feature live games from various major sports leagues, including Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Hockey League (NHL), the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), and US soccer. These live broadcasts will be sourced from Warner Bros. Discovery's cable networks, such as TNT, TBS, and TruTV, ensuring that fans can watch their favorite teams and events without relying on traditional cable TV.
In addition to live game coverage, the Bleacher Report Sports add-on will provide access to live coverage from Bleacher Report, a Warner Bros. Discovery-owned sports outlet. Subscribers can also expect select live international sporting events and an extensive library of video-on-demand content, including sports documentaries.
Max subscribers will have the option to augment their existing plans with the Bleacher Report Sports tier for an extra $9.99 per month. Notably, Max has stated that the live sports streams will include the same advertising as those airing during TV broadcasts on TBS, TNT, or truTV. However, regional blackouts may affect the availability of certain games for streaming.
“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,” said Luis Silberwasser, the chairman and chief executive of Warner Bros. Discovery Sports.
Max's introduction of live sports content aligns with a broader trend in the streaming industry. Several streaming platforms, including Apple TV Plus, Amazon Prime Video, Paramount Plus, and others, have already integrated live sports into their offerings. Disney is also exploring the role of ESPN in the streaming era.