An interesting angle of the WarnerMedia-Discovery merger is the potential for sports combinations from those component companies. WarnerMedia already has a strong sports segment, particularly with Turner Sports but also with HBO and HBO Max, and Discovery brings some sports to the table as well. They’ve done some of their own sports shows and have some sports properties in the U.S., but where they’re particularly strong in sports is internationally, where they have investments in everything from broad sports channel Eurosport to sport-focused GolfTV to electric car motorsports. So it’s notable that Warner Bros. Discovery announced Wednesday morning that their TBS coverage of the next edition of The Match (featuring Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers against Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen, on Wednesday, June 1) not only will be simulcast across TNT, truTV and HLN, it will also be distributed internationally through Warner Bros. Discovery platforms, the first such pairing between Turner and Discovery’s international channels. Here’s more on that from a release:
Turner Sports, a division of Warner Bros. Discovery, will exclusively present Capital One’s The Match – headlined by a foursome of legendary NFL quarterbacks in Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers teaming up to face Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen – on TNT, starting at 6:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, June 1, with simulcasts available on truTV and HLN in the U.S.
Fans watching outside the U.S. will also be able to watch the star-studded event through Warner Bros Discovery Sports channels and platforms, marking the first time Turner Sports and its international sports partners have collaborated to deliver true global distribution and audience reach for a sports event. Viewers can check local listings to find coverage in their country via a section of discovery+, the Eurosport App, Eurosport 2 and GOLFTV powered by PGA TOUR.
This feels like a logical first pairing, perhaps especially with GolfTV; that’s one of Discovery’s biggest international properties, and it’s already golf-focused, so putting this there makes a lot of sense. The added distribution on Eurosport 2, the Eurosport app, and Discovery+ (depending on country) also should help get The Match in front of even more people. (And this is notable too because this is a Turner-created event, not a league event, so the impetus is on the broadcaster to sign international syndication deals if they want them. Now, they have a natural international partner for that.)
The release here also spelled out some further details on the event. Turner’s Ernie Johnson will host, and NBA on TNT analyst Charles Barkley will again be an analyst; they’ll be joined by guest analysts J.J. Watt and Trevor Immelman and course reporter Amanda Renner. The 12-hole event will follow a “shamble” format, with all four golfers teeing off on each hole, but each team will select their best tee shot to play from; from that spot, golfers will play their own ball until they hole out, with the best golfer’s score determining which team wins the hole. The golfers will be mic’d up throughout. And this will support Feeding America as the primary charity; through five editions of The Match to date, Turner has raised $33 million for various charities, and donated 17 million meals to Feeding America.