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U.S. Soccer Agrees to Eight-Year Rights Deal with Turner Sports, HBO Starting in 2023

U.S. Soccer has agreed to a new, eight-year multimedia rights deal with Turner Sports that will make TNT, TBS and HBO Max the exclusive English-language home to more than 20 U.S. women’s and men’s national team matches each year, according to an official release on Tuesday.

Turner will reportedly pay an average of around $25–27 million per year for the rights, per Sports Business Journal.

Under the terms of the new agreement, TNT and TBS will feature ”high-profile matches” while the full slate of more than 20 games will be available through the HBO Max streaming platform annually.

”We are thrilled to be partnering with Turner Sports at this amazing time for soccer in the United States,” U.S. Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone said in a statement. ”During our discussions it was clear how dedicated they are to growing soccer in the United States, especially their commitment to expand the women‘s game. As we build towards 2026 and beyond, we have found a fantastic partner to spotlight the stories of our women‘s and men‘s national teams.”

The agreement, set to begin in 2023, will allow Turner Sports to be the exclusive rightsholder of U.S. World Cup qualifiers, national team friendlies, send-off matches and special events leading up to and following the World Cup and Olympic Games, and the SheBelieves Cup, among additional events involving the national teams, according to the release.

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Turner will not be acquiring the media rights to the men’s or women’s World Cups as those rights will still be held by Fox Sports for the 2022 and 2026 men’s, and 2023 women’s tournaments. 

Grant Wahl first broke the news on Monday that Turner Sports would receive the exclusive media rights for USMNT and USWNT matches beginning in 2023. The deal will last through 2030, per the release.

U.S. Soccer is currently in the final year of its deal with ESPN and Fox Sports, which is set to expire at the end of 2022. That deal was part of a package negotiated by Soccer United Marketing in conjunction with the media rights for Major League Soccer. However, U.S. Soccer announced last May that it was bringing its media and marketing rights in-house and ending its partnership with SUM. MLS's forthcoming new rights deal is independent of this and is expected to be closed in the coming months, according to commissioner Don Garber.

This won't be Turner's first step into the soccer space in recent years after previously having held the broadcast rights to UEFA Champions League and Europa League games from 2018–20. 

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