Under the terms of US Soccer’s 8-year deal with Turner Sports, the US Soccer national team’s first game will air on HBO Max in January.
The U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) kicks off the Turner Sports era in a friendly game down under on January 17. It will be the first U.S. national team game to be shown by Turner Sports in a deal that runs through 2030. Previously, FOX Sports, Univision and ESPN shared the rights to U.S. national team games.
The US vs. New Zealand game will be the first football game to be shown on WarnerMedia’s HBO Max streaming service in the United States. Outside of this country, HBO Max streams football from around the world. For example, HBO Max streams the UEFA Champions League across Mexico.
US Soccer HBO Max Debut Kicks Off New Deal
The US Soccer-Turner Sports Legal Agreement marks the first time US Soccer sold rights without bundling them with those of Major League Soccer (MLS). The estimated $200 million deal is all for US Soccer to keep rather than splitting the money with Soccer United Marketing and MLS.
The 8-year deal includes all men’s and women’s national team friendlies, the US Open Cup, the She Believes Cup and qualifying for the 2030 World Cup. The 2026 World Cup qualifying would also be included, but is expected to be that the men’s team will automatically qualify for the tournament as it co-hosts with Canada and Mexico. But there is no official word from FIFA yet.
In total, we can expect more than 20 matches per year at the various Turner Sports outlets.
So where exactly are matches shown?
Turner Sports has said that about 10 games will be shown each year on Turner’s cable channels TBS and TNT. But all matches, whether they are shown on TBS/TNT or not, appear to be shown on HBO Max, the streaming service of WarnerMedia (Turner’s parent company). It’s worth noting that Bleacher Report also falls under the WarnerMedia umbrella, another online destination that can be used to show less popular matches.
However, this is where the confusion arises. Don’t get too used to the name HBO Max, as WarnerMedia (owner of HBO & Turner Sports) merged with Discovery in April 2022 to create a new company under the name of Warner Bros. Discovery.
The new company has announced plans to launch a brand new streaming service that will feature all of the content the newly merged company owns, including HBO Max. The new streaming service will be in direct competition with Netflix and Disney+, among others.
The plans are to launch the new streaming service sometime in spring 2023. At that point, HBO Max disappears, unless Warner Bros. Discovery even more U-turns.
Football TV landscape can be complicated
Nowadays we know that being a football fan is not easy. Not just in the United States, but worldwide, the same thing as streaming services is interrupting the traditional TV model.
Meanwhile, several other leagues are scattered across a ranger from various streaming services. And now the USMNT and USWNT have a new home on Warner Bros-Discovery.
One thing is certain. We will keep you informed where you can watch the matches.
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