Discovery Inc. Starts Discovery Sports -- Does It Signal More To Come?

The proposed Warner Bros. Discovery company may be mulling an expansion of one area of TV programming: sports.

This comes as Discovery Inc recently created a Discovery Sports unit-- which encompasses all its sports assets, mostly based in Europe: Eurosport, Global Cycling Network (GCN), Global Mountain Bike Network (GMBN), Golf Digest and GolfTV (PGA Tour), as well as sports on discovery+ and Discovery’s free-to-air networks.

Leadership for the new company must be thinking bigger. This would include WarnerMedia/s ad-supported TV networks TNT and TBS with its two biggest sports franchises: NBA basketball and the NCAA Men’s College basketball championship, otherwise known as March Madness.

Sports has been a key piece of the puzzle for major TV-based media companies for a long time -- especially the NFL. Now, virtually all those NFL TV deals -- totaling $113 billion, across 11 years among five networks -- are taken.



But DirecTV’s current “NFL Sunday Ticket” remains a question mark.

That’s the franchise that allows out-of-market fans to watch non-prime-time games.

The current contract runs through next year. Considering AT&T’s deal to sell 30% of DirecTV to TPG Capital, might there be a shift here? Could that package be in the sights for Discovery Sports to consider?

For years, all traditional and new media companies have wanted a piece of the NFL. As a part of those recent long-term NFL deals, Amazon is the new rights owner of “Thursday Night Football.”

Reports also say the NFL is considering a sale of its NFL Network.

While other media companies continue to ramp up possible big merger talks, the story might be where their big sports TV properties land for the future.

This comes even as traditional and virtual MVPD distributors and streamers' video distributors are questioning and adjusting the value of sports TV -- national, regional, and local TV programming -- when it comes to retail pricing for consumers.

Near-term, those highly viewed linear TV sports properties -- the NFL, as well as the NBA, Major League Baseball, Nascar, European soccer -- will be a major goal for many.

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