TNT Sports goes live
July 18, 2023
TNT Sports has gone live throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland, replacing BT Sport, marking one of the most significant changes in the sports broadcast landscape in the last decade.
In addition to the launch of a new brand, discovery+ now becomes the new streaming destination for TNT Sports in the UK. discovery+ will present some of the world’s most celebrated sports events together with a wealth of entertainment under a new Premium plan, priced at £29.99 per month, which is the same price as was previously charged for a BT Sport Monthly Pass. The service provides access to the action from TNT Sports’ and Eurosport’s portfolios of live rights plus discovery+ entertainment content.
TNT Sports is available across all major TV platforms including Sky, BT TV and Virgin Media. Existing BT Sport customers are able to watch and watch TNT Sports without needing to take any further action.
LIVE SPORT AT THE HEART OF TNT SPORTS
TNT Sports will present the premium live sports rights previously carried by BT Sport including the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Europa Conference League, Gallagher Premiership Rugby, Heineken Champions Cup, EPCR Challenge Cup, MotoGP, Cricket, UFC, Boxing and WWE.
Taken together with Eurosport on discovery+, subscribers will get a front row seat to a host of premium rights including all this live sport plus Olympic Games Paris 2024, Grand Slam tennis tournaments (featuring the Australian Open and Roland-Garros) and cycling Grand Tours, including the Tour de France.
Andrew Georgiou, board member of the Joint Venture and President and Managing Director, Warner Bros Discovery Sports Europe, commented: “We are hugely excited to launch TNT Sports across the UK and Republic of Ireland. TNT Sports goes live with a new and contemporary brand, a fabulous new and exciting line-up of talent, great value for viewers as well as flexible ways to buy and watch. From today, fans can watch TNT Sports in the same places they enjoyed BT Sport and without any interruption to their access. In addition, with TNT Sports now on discovery+ in the UK we can begin to deliver a simple and even more compelling offer that appeals to the whole household, combining more live sport together with entertainment. We believe this is an exceptional value proposition for fans offering a compelling combination of sport and entertainment that is unique to discovery+.”
NEW FACES, NEW ROLES AND RETURNING FAN FAVOURITES
From next season, Laura Woods – a two-time winner of SJA British Sports Journalism Awards Sports Presenter of the Year, will host TNT Sports’ exclusive coverage of the UEFA Champions League, as well as major live boxing fight nights. Reshmin Chowdhury will anchor the UEFA Champions League matches, building on her previous role presenting the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League. Reshmin also previously led Eurosport’s coverage of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 from its Cube studio. Lynsey Hipgrave will continue to host live coverage of the Premier League in a role she began at the start of the 2022/23 season. Jules Breach will take on a broader role presenting the UEFA Europa League, reporting on key matches across the Premier League and UEFA Champions League and will front a new-look show to start Saturday’s Premier League coverage on TNT Sports.
Rio Ferdinand, Peter Crouch and Joe Cole will share their insights and opinions with TNT Sports viewers as part of a stellar line-up of football experts that will include Rachel Brown-Finnis, Owen Hargreaves, Steve McManaman, Joleon Lescott, Michael Owen, Paul Scholes and Robbie Savage. The commentary team and voices of TNT Sports will include Darren Fletcher, Adam Summerton and Lucy Ward while Ally McCoist joins as a co-commentator and pundit for Premier League and UEFA Champions League matches.
Orla Chennaoui will join TNT Sports’ rugby coverage and present a selection of live Gallagher Premiership matches in addition to her role as Eurosport’s lead cycling presenter. Craig Doyle will continue to host live match coverage and Ugo Monye will take on an extended role that will see him add presenting roles alongside punditry. The voices of rugby on TNT Sports will include commentators Alastair Eykyn and Nick Mullins.
New rugby pundits include Stuart Hogg, who has recently retired after a stellar career that included 100 international caps and a domestic and European double with the Exeter Chiefs in 2020, and Emily Scarratt, Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 winner and top point-scorer and Team GB captain at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. They will join a host of familiar names including Martin Bayfield, Lawrence Dallaglio, Brian O’Driscoll, Sarra Elgan, Austin Healey, Ben Kay and Sam Warburton.
Suzi Perry will continue to lead coverage of MotoGP on TNT Sports, joined by 2003 Superbike World Champion, Neil Hodgson, set to deliver expert analysis throughout the season. Gavin Emmett, Michael Laverty, and Natalie Quirk complete the presentation line-up.
Carl Frampton will be a lead boxing analyst on TNT Sports alongside new host Woods.
Radzi Chinyanganya, who presented analysis from Eurosport’s Cube studio for Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 and is currently lead presenter for Eurosport’s Triple Crown snooker coverage, will work across a variety of TNT Sports programming.
While those named above do not constitute an exhaustive list of the TNT Sports team, they represent the refreshed line-up that will feature across its sports portfolio. Further content and programming information will be released ahead of the new football and rugby seasons.
A NEW STREAMING HOME
TNT Sports on discovery+ brings with it a sports-first experience packed with features, including on compatible devices the interactive timeline that puts fans in charge and enables them to replay live video or skip through key points in the action to relive the best moments. With the Premium plan on discovery+ in the UK, sport fans will also have access to something for the whole household with a variety of exclusive, original entertainment series across Reality, True Crime, Paranormal, Documentaries, Food and more.
The TNT Sports website has also launched offering fans the latest news, views, live updates and expert analysis as well as free-to-view video clips from the sports that TNT Sports presents live.
HOW DO I WATCH TNT SPORTS?
Access to TNT Sports for existing BT Sport customers via BT TV, Sky, and Virgin Media will automatically commence at launcg. Customers who have access to the BT Sport App can continue enjoying TNT Sports via that app until it shuts down later this year. Eligible customers will also be directed to a discovery+ authentication process and can then download the discovery+ app which will give them access to TNT Sports, Eurosport and original entertainment.
TNT Sports is available across all major TV platforms offering a line-up of up to four TV channels (TNT Sports 1, TNT Sports 2, TNT Sports 3, TNT Sports 4), up to six digital or red-button channels (TNT Sports 5 to 10), TNT Sports Ultimate and TNT Sports Box Office HD.
BT and EE customers who subscribe to TNT Sports are able to access the Premium plan on discovery+ via mobiles, tablets and connected devices including smart TVs and games consoles. Additionally, access to the Premium plan will be available soon for BT TV customers via selected BT TV set top boxes.
Coming soon, Sky TV customers who subscribe to TNT Sports will also be able to access the Premium plan on discovery+, which will enable them to enjoy TNT Sports via the discovery+ app on Sky Glass, Sky Stream and Sky Q.
Anyone with a discovery+ subscription can access the service via most smartphones, tablets, desktop browsers, and connected devices, including Android TV, Apple TV, Fire TV, Amazon Fire TVs, LG Smart TVs, NOW, PlayStation 4 & 5, Roku, Samsung Smart TVs and Xbox.
In the Republic of Ireland, TNT Sports is available via Sky, Now, Virgin Media and Vodafone. Pricing is available from these operators. The TV channels (TNT Sports 1, TNT Sports 2, TNT Sports 3, TNT Sports 4) are available in high and standard definition, plus (via Sky only) six red-button channels, TNT Sports Ultimate and TNT Sports Box Office.
“This represents a key stepping stone since closing the JV back in September last year,” says Paolo Pescatore, TMT Analyst at PP Foresight, who suggests that there has been a “huge” effort behind the scenes of building a new platform, designing a new on air look and feel, reimagined talent line up to reflect new brand.
“The reimagined talent line-up, which is more inclusive and diverse line-up will help connect with different audiences,” he adds. “There’s a clear desire to ensure that the programming is less male dominated,” he says, accepting that this is a challenge when it comes to football at times.
According to Pescatore, there are numerous challenges in the short term of managing a multi brand strategy which the new entity is fully aware of and will need to navigate carefully. £Initially there will be resentment, as it will feel like another sports brand entering the UK market in an increasingly fragmented world. During a cost of living crisis this might give people a reason to cancel. Hence all focus must be placed on positioning and adding greater value for sports fans as part of the Discovery+ umbrella,” he advises.
“We are now starting to see the fruits of why BT decided to partner with WBD; scale and leveraging its expertise in content and media. Sport will now start to become a key differentiator for discovery+ with the goal of offering users everything in one place. It will be interesting to see how TNT Sports will be able to leverage other assets within the wider WBD family including CNN for an example in cross promoting content (sports documentaries).”
“This represents a further key step in a long journey where there will be other bumps to overcome. Maintaining key sports rights will remain ever so important to help during this transition for the next couple of years. All eyes now turn to the Premier League where the entity needs to build upon its current portfolio. Warner Bros Discovery is in the driving seat,” he concludes.