NBA-Bereft Warner Bros. Discovery Pays $650 Million for 10 Years of French Open U.S. TV Rights

French Open
Carlos Alcaraz of Spain stretches for a backhand against Alexander Zverev of Germany during the Men's Singles Final match on Day 15 of the 2024 French Open at Roland Garros on June 09, 2024 in Paris, France. (Image credit: Getty Images)

Warner Bros. Discovery’s TNT Sports will reportedly pay $650 million over 10 years to obtain the U.S. TV rights to the French Open. 

The annual late-season pro tennis event, otherwise known as Roland-Garros and which wrapped up its 2024 iteration Sunday by crowning Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz men’s champion, has long run on Comcast NBCUniversal platforms in the U.S.

The French Tennis Federation's 12-year deal with NBC Sports expired on Sunday. NBCU reportedly had been paying only $12 million a year for French Open domestic rights. 

WBD already delivers the French Open on Eurosport and Discovery in 50 countries as part of a deal with the French Tennis Federation that expires in 2027. 

In the U.S., Warner will reportedly offer French Open coverage on TNT, TBS and truTV linear channels, as well as on subscription streaming service Max. 

Update: WBD made the official announcement on Tuesday, with Luis Silberwasser, chairman and CEO of TNT Sports, releasing this statement: "TNT Sports is thrilled to partner with the French Tennis Federation and exclusively present unprecedented coverage of Roland-Garros — one of the most prestigious sports events every year — across our full array of platforms. Roland-Garros perfectly aligns with our global sports strategy and our commitment to adding premium live sports content to our TNT Sports portfolio. We look forward to serving fans with a best-in-class content experience and providing them with direct access to more live Roland-Garros coverage than ever before.”

Comparing the $65 million-a-year French Open U.S. TV deal to other major pro tennis tournaments, Disney/ESPN pays around $83 million annually for Wimbledon TV rights in the U.S., and $70 million a year for U.S. Open domestic TV rights.

Notably, with this deal, all four major global pro tennis tournaments, including the Australian Open, have moved off U.S. broadcast TV into the paid pay TV and streaming ecosystems. 

WBD has drawn more attention of late by what it has not chosen to license, with the NBA reportedly set to sign deals worth $76 billion over 11 years with Disney/ESPN, Comcast/NBCU and Amazon. 

There are reports that WBD and the NBA are still in talks about possibly carving out a fourth games package that will keep Warner Bros. in pro basketball.

But with WBD CEO David Zaslav declaring his company still a “leader in sports around the world” recently, Warner is spending its precious licensing cash in other places besides the National Basketball Association. 

For instance, WBD just entered a sublicense agreement with ESPN to pick up part of the newly expanded College Football Playoff, also starting next year. 

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!