HBO Max is the new home for US Soccer

The HBO debut for the US Soccer national team will air on HBO Max in January as per the eight-year agreement US Soccer has with Turner Sports. The Turner Sports era is officially started by the US Women’s National Team (USWNT) on January 17 when they play New Zealand in a friendly match in Australia. It will be the first US national team game Turner Sports will broadcast as part of a contract that will extend through 2030. Previously, the rights to US national team games were split between FOX Sports, Univision, and ESPN.

For the first time, US Soccer licensed rights to Turner Sports without also selling MLS’s rights as a package. Instead of splitting the anticipated $200 million deal with Soccer United Marketing and MLS, US Soccer will keep the entire sum. The agreement covers all international friendlies for the men’s and women’s national teams, the US Open Cup, the She Believes Cup, and the 2030 World Cup qualifying.

The qualification for the 2026 World Cup would also be featured, but it is anticipated that the men’s squad will automatically qualify for the competition because they are the co-hosts alongside Canada and Mexico. FIFA, however, has not yet issued an official statement. Over 20 games each year could be expected across all of Turner Sports’ platforms.

Approximately 10 matches per year will be shown on TBS and TNT, according to Turner Sports. However, it looks that all matches will be broadcast on HBO Max, the streaming service owned by WarnerMedia (the parent company of Turner), whether they are broadcast on TBS/TNT or not. It’s important to remember that Bleacher Report, another online venue that can be used to air less-popular events, is also a part of the WarnerMedia family.

This is where things become confusing. Avoid becoming too accustomed to the term HBO Max because in April 2022, WarnerMedia—the firm that controls HBO and Turner Sports—merged with Discovery to form a new company that would go by the name Warner Bros Discovery. The newly combined firm has revealed intentions to introduce a totally new streaming service that would feature all of its content, including HBO Max.

The new streaming service will face off against Netflix and Disney+, among others. The new streaming service is expected to be live sometime in the spring of 2023. HBO Max will be discontinued at that point unless Warner Bros. Discovery does any more U-turns.

Rox and Ken react to the deal and talk about what it means for streaming soccer games in general.

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