Warner Bros. Discovery Is Finished With Regional Sports Broadcasts

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Warner Bros. Discovery has reportedly informed teams whose games are carried on their regional sports networks that they are getting out of the business.

The massive media conglomerate owns three regional sports networks all of which are under the AT&T Sportsnet brand. The networks were part of WarnerMedia’s portfolio from when it was owned by AT&T. Those networks came along for the ride with the formation of Warner Bros. Discovery.

However, it’s now clear that those networks are not in Warner Bros. Discovery’s long-term plans.

The three networks carry hockey, baseball, and basketball and cover teams in Pittsburgh, Houston, Colorado, and Utah.

This means the Houston Rockets, Utah Jazz, Pittsburgh Pirates, Houston Astros, Colorado Rockies, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Vegas Golden Knights fans, pay close attention.

The Wall Street Journal obtained a copy of a letter that the company sent to teams who appear on these networks. WSJ cited those with knowledge of the letter — which was from the unit’s president Patrick Crumb. The letter reportedly said, “the business will not have sufficient cash to pay the upcoming rights fees.” Those who saw the letter said teams were told that WBD “will not fund our shortfalls.”

Regional sports networks will soon no longer be part of Warner Bros. Discovery’s portfolio. (Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Warner Bros. Discovery Had Some Solutions

However, WBD reportedly offered a solution. Their idea is for AT&T SportsNet to transfer ownership of the networks to the teams for no purchase price. The catch here is the teams would have to release the network of any future claims.

That is not the only option. The regional networks could file for bankruptcy.

“Unless we can reach a deal to transfer ownership of the network (and the attendant rights), our only realistic option is to file for chapter 7 liquidation,” the letter said. The deadline to reach a deal is March 31.

The letter also included a line about how the networks were running out of options.

Leagues have been informed of this news which was reportedly in the world for a while. Warner Bros. Discover is carrying significant debt and running regional sports networks was never front of mind for them.

It has been a tough go recently for regional sports networks. Last year, Diamond Sports Group, a subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. that operates Bally Sports-branded networks, announced its major financial difficulties.

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Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.


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  1. Not sure why the Nuggets are in the graphic, they aren’t on AT&T Sportsnet. In Denver only the crap-ass Rockies are on that network & if they start running their own network, it will be just as bad as the team. For people here, maybe it means those still hanging on to satellite/cable will get Altitude (Avs, Nuggets, Mammoth, DU) instead of the worst run team in baseball and 6 months of poker tourneys, WCC games available in 10 different places and Big Sky football.

  2. At some point, the revenue stream for sports that led to ridiculous numbers for player salaries was destined to come to an end. The cable bundle was extremely lucrative for leagues, as people who didn’t watch sports were paying into the pot, but those numbers are dwindling. It will be interesting to see how broadcasting contracts, and player contracts are adjusted going forward.

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