Zucker: AT&T, WarnerMedia May Go After Sports Rights

Mar 5, 2019  •  Post A Comment

Jeff Zucker, who was recently named to oversee WarnerMedia’s news and sports properties under the company’s new AT&T corporate ownership, hinted that the company may be looking to expand its sports rights.

Variety quotes Zucker saying the telecommunications firm “will certainly continue to be a significant player in the sports-rights arena.” In an interview Monday, he added: “WarnerMedia will continue to be aggressive when appropriate and strategic.”

“The company already enjoys a significant alliance with the National Basketball Association,” Variety notes. “The two are so close that WarnerMedia is an integral part of the NBA’s digital strategy. What’s more, AT&T has struck up an e-sports league with WME/ICM and shares the rights to broadcast the NCAA’s Final Four basketball championship with CBS. Zucker says he has already made outreach to the commissioners of the major sports leagues.”

The report notes that a number of opportunities are coming up in the space.

“Many traditional and digital media companies are focused on the next cycle of rights to broadcast NFL football, which will start to come up for renewal, first at ESPN in 2021 and at NBC, CBS and Fox the following year,” Variety notes.

Said Zucker: “We are not going to take anything off the table.”

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