Warner Bros. Discovery reaches deal to broadcast French Open in US

Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts while playing against Germany's Alexander Zverev during their men's singles match on Court Philippe-Chatrier on day two of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros complex in Paris on May 27, 2024.

Anne-Christine Poujoulat | AFP | fake images

Warner Bros. Discovery TNT Sports will be the new exclusive U.S. broadcaster of the French Open, also known as Roland-Garros, starting in 2025, the company announced Tuesday.

The entertainment company signed a 10-year contract with the French Tennis Federation for an average of about $65 million a year, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The deal will make Warner Bros. Discovery the largest global broadcast partner of the Grand Slam tournament, which hosted 675,000 viewers this year. Eurosport, owned by Warner Bros. Discovery, has been broadcasting the French Open to 55 countries outside the U.S. since 1989, according to a news release.

“Roland-Garros aligns perfectly with our global sports strategy and our commitment to adding premium live sports content to our TNT Sports portfolio. We look forward to providing fans with a best-in-class content experience and giving them direct access to more content on live coverage of Roland-Garros like never before,” TNT Sports president and CEO Luis Silberwasser said in the statement.

Under the agreement, matches will be broadcast live on TNT, TBS and TruTV, including simulcasts on the company's streaming platform Max.

Before this agreement, the tournament was broadcast in the US by Comcast NBC and streaming service Peacock and Tennis Channel through a sublicensing agreement.

TNT Sports announced it will have an on-site presence, including a studio and announcing teams from multiple positions inside the Roland Garros Stadium in Paris, with more details on coverage to be announced in the coming months.

The news comes as Warner Bros. Discovery is launching a joint sports streaming service called Venu with disney ESPN and Fox. Venu will launch this fall and will include TNT, TBS and TruTV in its channel offering.

Adding the French Open is further proof that the company wants to add live sports if the price makes sense for the investment. In the last three years, TNT Sports has acquired the rights to the National Hockey League, NASCAR, US Soccer, College Football Playoffs (through a sublicensing agreement with ESPN) and now the French Open.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros. Discovery is still in negotiations with the NBA to expand its partnership to broadcast live games. While NBCUniversal has made a bid for the game package offered by TNT Sports, Warner Bros. Discovery is focusing on a different game package, CNBC previously reported.

With the hangover from the Hollywood writers' strike and cost-cutting measures across the industry, including Warner Bros. Discovery, media giants have leaned heavily on sports as a way to attract larger audiences and more advertising dollars.

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC.

—CNBC's Alex Sherman contributed to this report.

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