Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Cody Bellinger (35) steals second base as St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Tommy Edman (19) takes the late throw at Dodger Stadium in the 2021 National League Wild Card game.
Robert Hanashiro | USA TODAY Sports
Sports are coming to Warner Bros. Discovery’s streaming app Max.
Beginning Oct. 5, Max will include a tier that will simulcast live sports events that already appear on the company’s traditional TV networks TNT and TBS. The tier kicks off in time for Major League Baseball’s postseason, which airs on TBS.
The membership, called the Bleacher Report Sports Add-On, will also include NHL, NBA, NCAA March Madness and U.S soccer games. Max subscribers will get free access through Feb. 29. Then, it will cost an additional $9.99 a month.
CNBC previously reported Warner Bros. Discovery’s plans to add sports to Max under the Bleacher Report brand, as it tries to target a younger audience that has increasingly sidestepped the traditional pay-TV bundle.
Media companies have been doing a delicate dance to make their streaming services more attractive in a push to get to profitability and are now trying a variety of methods to do so.
Warner Bros. Discovery’s streaming segment was profitable in the first half of the year, and the company has said it expects that to continue for the full year.
Max has undergone various changes in the past year and has been bulking up on content for the fall.
In May, the streamer was renamed Max after the parent company blended the content of HBO Max and Discovery+ apps together. The move came more than a year after the merger of Warner Bros. and Discovery.
The company also struck a deal with AMC Networks to feature more than 200 episodes of recent shows from the cable TV network for two months. The arrangement, which kicked off earlier this month, runs through Halloween.
But sports and news were long-awaited additions to the app. CEO David Zaslav said during the company’s earnings call this summer that the change would happen in short order.
On Sept. 27, the app will also include CNN Max, a 24/7 live news hub that will feature content from the network’s top anchors.
The company hiked the price of Max earlier this year and has yet to increase it again. Currently, Max’s ad-free tier costs $15.99 a month, and a cheaper option with commercials is $9.99 a month. Company executives have said in investor calls that they see the potential to raise prices again in the future.
In addition to MLB’s postseason, the Max sports tier will also include 60 live NHL regular season games, 65 NBA regular season matchups and postseason games for both leagues. It will also include live video and other content from Bleacher Report.
Source link: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/19/live-sports-come-to-max-warner-bros-discovery-streaming-platform.html