Broadcasting House View TNT Sports

The House View – TNT Sports lands in the UK, but what does it mean?

July 20, 2023

Since the merger between Warner Bros. Discovery and BT Sport was announced, humble sports fans have been wondering what this will mean for them. 

Well, as the clocks ticked to 6:00 am on Tuesday, we got our answer as all BT Sport social media accounts, channels and apps became TNT Sports. 

You would have to have been living under a rock – to not have seen the advertising campaign for the rebrand which, with its “New Name, Same Game” tagline, was plastered all over our screens at the back end of last season.

So, what does this all mean for the humble fan at home?

Firstly, and most importantly, existing BT Sport subscribers don’t have to do a thing. Everything is transferred seamlessly.

Now, onto the nitty gritty. 

Well, we have some new on-screen talent. All football coverage will be hosted by one of their four female hosts. Leading the line, replacing Jake Humphrey is two-time SJA award-winning presenter Laura Woods. Woods is joined by Jules Breach, the new touchline reporter, Reshmin Chowdhury and Lynsey Hipgrave.

The majority of the pundits and commentators will be staying the same with the welcome addition of fan-favourite Ally McCoist as a regular co-commentator and studio pundit. 

“The most important thing for us is that the people on the screen are relatable and genuine,” Scott Young, Senior Vice President Content and Production, WBD Sports Europe.  “We want to be right by the fans, everyone that is working on all our shows are incredibly passionate about sport, they are fans as well, and we want to get that across.”

Andrew Georgiou, President and MD of Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe, added: “We can laugh at ourselves, we’re approachable, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously, with a bit of that British humour, which I think the BT Sport brand did have and I think it’s something that we definitely want to keep as part of that TNT Sports brand..”

Now onto the all important price. BT Sport customers currently pay £29.99 a month and this will remain the same, and as an added value TNT subscribers will be able to access the Discovery+ app. 

The app and platform will also host all of the TNT Sports content and in the next 18 months all the Eurosport channels will be included in the offering as well.

There are plenty of new technological features on the app as well, that are going to add to the live experience including the ability to watch along with friends around the world. As with all these things though it will come down to how easy they are to operate, the inevitable wifi problems and how much they disrupt the live viewing experience.

Can they not just compete with Sky, but knock them off their perch?

This is an important question and I certainly think nobody has been in a better position to do so in the past decade. They will have the energy of a rebrand and the financial muscle of a large-scale multinational media company to try and push them forward. 

They are also already in possession of some of the UK’s most valuable sporting rights being the home of European club football, club rugby and also cricket in Australia. Adding the rights packages held by Eurosport into this will only strengthen their offering. 

Georgiou said: “We are a premium sports broadcaster and our 100% stated ambition is to remain a premium sports broadcaster.” 

When pushed on the upcoming Premier League rights tender, Georgiou refused to commit either way, but it is hard to see a world where TNT are not going to look to increase their share of Premier League games. They currently have 32 Saturday lunchtime games and two rounds of midweek fixtures. 

The next round of Premier League rights will see an extra 70 games being broadcast, taking the total to 270. We are yet to see how the different packages will look like when the league carves them up and who else is going to enter the bidding war, but this is something to keep an eye on over the next year.

As with everything in sport it always comes back to the rights and nothing drives subscriptions and viewers in the UK like Premier League rights.

By Alex Brinton, Content Manager for iSportConnect

Broadcasting House View TNT Sports