Warner Bros. Discovery will offer live sports on its Max streaming service at no additional cost for the next few months, according to Bloomberg.
Programming will include basketball, baseball and hockey, with Warners owning the media rights to NBA and MLB games. The company has a presence in the NHL and March Madness as well. The move is intended to lure new subscribers into the subscription service. An additional fee would come starting next year, around February or March, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources.
More online services are leaning on live sports to bolster their customer bases, from YouTube TV offering NFL’s Sunday Ticket to Amazon’s NFL “Thursday Night Football” and Apple TV’s Major League Soccer Pass. With more services competing for your subscription fees, many are looking to at live sports, with built-in fan bases, to stand apart and draw in new users.
Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav appeared at a Goldman Sachs conference, where he was mum on any additional details, only teasing that he would lay out plans in the next few weeks.
“We have a very comprehensive strategic attack plan on sports,” he said. “We’ll get back to you on more details.”
Warner Bros. Discovery has been trying to reposition Max after going through a rebranding (dropping the HBO name) and bulking up its library with more programming from the Discovery side. While the service reaches fewer subscribers than leader Netflix or even upstarts like Disney+, it remains a key part of the company’s strategy to compete in the media world. The company said it would add a CNN live stream to Max and is even considering possible alerts.
A spokeswoman for Warner Bros. declined to comment.