ROLAND GARROS — The first signs of how Warner Bros Discovery will leverage their ownership of Eurosport are starting to emerge after film star Jason Isaacs filmed a segment for the channel’s French Open coverage to promote one of their properties.
Warner Bros Discovery will rebrand the newly merged BT Sport and Eurosport as TNT Sports this summer, bringing together the UK’s two biggest rivals to Sky Sports.
The entire Warner Bros Discovery group is a company worth nearly $30bn (£24bn) with a huge portfolio including the flagship film studios, TV networks, video game publishers and amusement parks.
And i understands they will devote an extended segment of their French Open programming this weekend to Harry Potter: The Exhibition in Paris.
Isaacs, who played one of the villains Lucius Malfoy in all eight Harry Potter films, is also a big tennis fan and spent last Sunday at Roland Garros watching the first day of action.
Along with Eurosport host and former British No 1 Laura Robson, Isaacs presented a tour of the Harry Potter behind-the-scenes exhibition, which i understands is due to air as part of the coverage from Roland Garros at the end of this week.
The exhibition was only opened last month and includes a variety of interactive and revealing sections about the so-called Wizarding World.
A glimpse into the future?
Opportunities to cross-promote other parts of the business are at the very heart of the sports TV rights business, and a company like Warner Bros Discovery is no different: Sky and BT’s battle for customers is predicated on the lucrative nature of the broadband market.
Some sources have posited the idea that packaging up Eurosport, Discovery and BT as TNT Sport was part of a plan to sell up – and it may yet be – but the marketing value of the company is high too.
And even before the joint-venture that will be known as TNT Sport as of this summer, there were rumours of the company making a play for a bigger chunk of Premier League rights than they currently have in the BT deal, but it was not entirely clear what their motivation might be.
The possibility of Amazon or even Apple, who have waded into the football market in the US already, joining the race for Premier League rights may make them prohibitively expensive, but if WBD can use them as a billboard to span every continent, they may still be value for money.
Harry Potter: The Exhibition is currently open in Paris. Follow Harry Potter: The Exhibition on social media to keep up to date with the touring exhibition.