Carlos Alcaraz Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

TNT Sports is adding another sports event to its lineup domestically, though it’s one the company as a whole is familiar with.

Per Variety, Warner Bros. Discovery will be adding the French Open to its library of live sports rights. The multi-year deal also contains the tournament’s rights in Europe, where the company has aired the event for decades.

According to The Athletic, the deal is for 10 years and $650 million.

Variety reports that coverage will air on WBD’s linear networks (TBS, TNT, and truTV are the most notable for live sports) as well as the Max streaming service and Bleacher Report digital platforms.

Here’s more from the story.

Warner has acquired the U.S. rights to the French Open, the tennis tournament also known as Roland-Garros, according to people familiar with the matter, snatching up a property that has primarily been associated with NBC Sports for the past several years. In Europe, however, where Warner Bros. Discovery operates the massive Eurosport pay-TV networks, the Open has been part of its offerings since 1989.

The new deal will give Warner rights to telecast the event in both the U.S. and Europe, according to these people, and brings a new offering to the company’s U.S. portfolio, which features games from the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association, as well as a significant part of the annual March Madness men’s college-basketball tournament. Warner Bros. Discovery intends to make content tied to the Open available across its linear cable networks, its Max streaming service, and its Bleacher Report digital sports hub, according to people familiar with the deal. Warner Bros. Discovery is a co-owner of the new Venu streaming sports joint-venture operated with Fox and Disney, and expected to debut in the fall.

Domestically, the French Open has aired on NBC’s platforms for decades, which has recently included Peacock-exclusive programming. Tennis Channel also airs coverage as part of a sublicensing deal with NBC and previously sublicensed some of that coverage to ESPN (which walked away from the tournament after the 2015 edition).

There was no immediate word of the future of that sublicensing agreement with TNT Sports taking over.

NBC’s coverage of the tournament has received criticism in recent years, with Daniel Kaplan wondering this week why the network was still even bothering to air the French Open. Today’s news of the shift to TNT Sports puts a bow on NBC’s lengthy run airing the tournament and signals the start of a new era of the French Open in the United States.

[Variety]

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