US National Team

US Soccer Moves to Turner Sports, TBS, HBO Max in Eight-Year Deal Set to Begin in 2023

The World Cups will continue to be streamed on Fox Sports through 2026

Christian Pulisic #10 of United States celebrate with his teammates after scoring his team's first goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers match between United States and Mexico at TQL Stadium on November 12, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
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U.S. National Team Soccer has signed an eight-year deal giving Turner Sports, TBS and HBO Max streaming rights to its English-language coverage beginning in 2023.

This deal does not apply to the next three World Cups as those rights remain in the hands of Fox Sports through the 2026 men’s tournament. However, national team friendlies, SheBelieves Cup and World Cup qualifiers are just some of the contests included in the deal going forward. 

The deal, set to begin in 2023, reportedly runs for eight years and costs around $200 million. ESPN and Fox previously held broadcasting rights through 2022. 

Turner and HBO are both owned by Warner Media. The entertainment conglomerate is expected to merge with Discovery in a $43 billion deal sometime in the second fiscal quarter, with March 11 recently reported as the date for shareholders to hold an official vote.

HBO Max already operates as a streaming service for HBO content and it’s expected that the merger could produce a larger streaming service intended to compete with Netflix, Disney Plus and Peacock. 

Meanwhile, Bleacher Report -- owned by Turner Media -- will have exclusive digital and highlight rights.

No Spanish-language deal has been announced at this time.

This announcement comes with the 2022 Men’s World Cup hosted by Qatar on the horizon. While the sport’s biggest event typically occurs in the summer, Qatar’s intense heat forced organizers to host the World Cup in November and December. 

Soccer has seen a steady increase in popularity in the U.S., especially among younger spectators. After the U.S. hosted the men’s World Cup in 1994 and the women’s World Cup in 1999 and 2003, soccer saw a huge boost domestically in terms of number of spectators, eventually overtaking hockey in 2006 as the fourth most watched sport in America. A 2018 Gallup Poll indicated that soccer had nearly pulled neck and neck with baseball. 

The U.S. will have another chance to win over American fans in 2026 when they join Canada and Mexico in hosting the World Cup as a North American coalition. While all three countries operate as hosts, 17 of the 22 candidate destination cities are within the U.S. FIFA previously announced that they would finalize the field to 16 by the end of 2021, however, no confirmations have been made.

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