Max could launch a new sports tier as soon as this October, and in time for the MLB playoffs. Late last week, Warner Bros. Discovery hinted heavily that it was now ready to start focusing on live sports.
Following that heavy hinting, new details have emerged and suggest Warner Bros. Discovery plans to use October’s Major League Baseball playoffs as the springboard to launch its new sports tier.
According to the report from CNBC, the current plan is to simulcast live MLB playoff games on both cable TV and on Max in October. However, access to these live sports events reportedly won’t be free. Instead, Warner Bros. Discovery plans to charge subscribers an additional fee to watch live sports on Max.
The report also explain that this tier will be branded as a Bleacher Report tier, and in addition to live MLB games, subscribers will also have access to National Basketball Association (NBA), National Hockey League (NHL), and National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) simulcast games as well.
While there won’t reportedly be any exclusive MLB or NBA games available on Max in 2023, the report suggests exclusive games could be available on Max as early as next year.
As the new tier will be associated with Bleacher Report, subscribers can also reportedly expect access to additional highlights and interviews.
Even though there’s currently no word on how much the sports tier will cost, it would seem likely that unlocking access to MLB, NBA, and NHL games would greatly add to the price of a subscription. How much more is going to be the big question.
At present, Max plans range in price between $9.99 and $19.99 a month, depending on a number of factors, including the use of ads, 4K support, and the number of devices that can stream at the same time. A new sports tier would likely cost more than all of these plans, making it the most expensive way to sign up to Max.
Of course, access to live sports games from major leagues in the US might remove the need for some homes to pay for a live TV package, so it could end up being a cheaper option, in spite of the higher monthly cost.
On an interesting, and related, note, Alphabet (Google’s parent company) recently confirmed that a new NFL Sunday Ticket-Max bundle is due to become available to YouTube TV subscribers soon.
With NFL season kicking off next month, and that new bundle likely to debut soon after, it could be an interesting and sports-focused end to the year for the Max streaming service.