On September 1, 2022, BT Group and Warner Bros. Discovery officially formed a 50:50 joint-venture company to create a new premium sport offering in the U.K. and Ireland.
The deal means that the operating businesses of BT Sport will be transferred over to Warner Bros. Discovery. This gives them a large portfolio of rights to sports content from both BT Sport and Eurosport UK.
It also means BT Sport will be changing its name for the new football season: it will be called TNT Sports from July this year.
New name. Same game. TNT Sports 💥— BT Sport (@btsport) May 9, 2023
From the first ball to the final whistle we'll still be at the heart of sport… pic.twitter.com/B5A40P6Sgo
The Sporting News looks at the merger, what fans should expect next season and whether Premier League and Champions League broadcasts will be affected.
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Why is BT Sport changing name?
BT Sport will be called TNT Sports from July 2023 following the joint venture. Eurosport UK will also make the name change by 2026.
A 'BT Eurosport' hybrid name was never a possibility, so Warner Bros. Discovery opted to rename BT Sport after current U.S. channel TNT Sports.
According to SportsPro, the partners said they focused on "identifying a brand that simultaneously paid homage to the legacies of both BT Sport and Eurosport while offering a clean slate that signified an expanded, premium service".
What is TNT Sports?
TNT Sports is already a household name in North America, especially in the Unites States. It is an abbreviation for Turner Network Television, which is of course owned by Warner Bros.
The television channels show coverage of the NBA and NHL in the US as well as high-level European and domestic football. The basketball coverage is very popular due to a punditry panel featuring Shaquille O'Neal, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley.
The new brand received a "neutral to positive" response when it was reviewed by consumers, who were primarily football fans.
How much will TNT Sports cost?
Many customers will be thinking about the new cost of the product, but despite the change coming in July, no official price has been set for TNT Sports.
Current BT Sport packages range from £18 a month to £43 a month. This could well increase due to the number of sports that will now be available to watch on the platform when you consider Eurosport's additional offering.
BT's consumer chief and chair Marc Allera said that there were no immediate plans to increase prices but that "it's impossible to offer guarantees".
He said: "This market is moving at a fast pace. How the portfolio evolves determines the price of the product and how much we charge."
Will TNT Sports show Premier League and Champions League?
Yes. TNT Sports will not need a new broadcast deal to show Premier League and Champions League games as they will takeover from where BT Sport left off.
This means that they will continue to show live games from the top flight of English football until their contract expires in 2025, broadcasting 52 games each season.
It will also remain the exclusive home of European competition until 2024. They secured the rights to show all 420 Champions League, Europa League, and Europa Conference League matches as well as highlights and in-match clips.
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Which other sports will TNT Sports show?
TNT Sports in the U.K. will only show what BT Sport and Eurosport already covered. That means additional sports broadcast by the channel in the USA will not, for now, be made available via the same service in the U.K..
From July 2023, along with the football competitions, TNT Sports will show coverage of UFC, MotoGP, Premiership Rugby, WWE, tennis Grand Slams, Boxing, cycling Grand Tours, winter sports, and the Olympic Games.