Warner Bros. Discovery closes French Open US broadcast deal

Spaniard Rafael Nadal reacts as he plays against German 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.

Annechristine Poujoulat | AFP | Getty Images

Warner Bros. Discoveries TNT Sports will become the new exclusive American broadcaster of the French Open, also known as Roland-Garros, from 2025, the company announced on 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 means Warner Bros. Discovery is the largest global broadcast partner of the Grand Slam tournament, which attracted 675,000 spectators this year. Warner Bros. Discovery, owned by Eurosport, has broadcast 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 offering fans a best-in-class content experience and providing them with direct access to more live sports The coverage of Roland-Garros is greater than ever before,” said Luis Silberwasser, chairman and CEO of TNT Sports in the press release.

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

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

TNT Sports has announced an on-site presence, including studio and announcing teams from multiple positions at the Roland Garros Stadium in Paris. Further details on the coverage will be announced in the coming months.

The news comes as Warner Bros. Discovery launches a joint sports streaming service called Venu Disneys ESPN and Fox. Venu will start this fall and will include TNT, TBS and TruTV in its channel offering.

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

Meanwhile, Warner Bros. Discovery is still in negotiations with the NBA to expand its partnership to include broadcasting live games. While NBCUniversal has made a bid for the games package that TNT Sports carries, Warner Bros. Discovery is focusing on another games package, CNBC previously reported.

With the hangover from the Hollywood writers' strike and cost-cutting measures across the industry, including at Warner Bros. Discovery, media giants have started leaning heavily on sports as a way to bring in bigger 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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