French Open, TNT Sports agree to 10-year, $650 million deal: Sources


Warner Bros. Discovery has a 10-year, $650 million deal in place to be the new home of the French Open in the United States beginning in 2025, executives briefed on the agreement told The Athletic.

The move comes as WBD, which is the home of TNT Sports, is in the midst of negotiations with the NBA as it tries to hang on to some rights to games. WBD Sports executives have said they would be pursuing outside rights regardless of whether they retain the NBA or not.

The agreement between the French Open and WBD Sports was first reported by Variety. A WBD Sports spokesperson declined to comment.

NBC has been the longtime home of the Open, which it shares currently with Tennis Channel.

WBD already owns the European rights to the French Open as it operates Eurosport pay-TV Networks. In the U.S., beginning next year, the event will be aired on Warner Bros. Discovery cable networks, HBO Max with Bleacher Report acting as its digital hub.

WBD recently made a deal with ESPN to sub-license first-round and quarterfinal college football playoff games over the next five years.

While the NBA has been its crown jewel property for decades, TNT Sports also features the NCAA Tournament, MLB playoffs, the NHL postseason and NASCAR, among other properties.

Meanwhile, the NBA and WBD Sports executives remain in contact. As The Athletic first reported in April, the league has a framework agreement with a new partner, Amazon Prime Video, for $1.8 billion per year. ESPN also has the outline for an agreement at $2.6 billion per season, while NBC is prepared to pay $2.5 billion.

The NBA and WBD Sports have remained in contact. WBD chairman David Zaslav has publicly stated he could try to invoke matching rights to retain the NBA. On Thursday, commissioner Adam Silver called the issues “complex.” While the NBA prefers three partners, there is a chance the league could try to avoid any legal confrontations by carving a regular-season package with a small playoff offering to finalize all the deals.

Either way, Zaslav and WBD Sports chairman Luis Silberwasser continue to make deals to add variety to its United States offerings.

(Photo: Julian Finney / Getty Images)

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