Warner Bros. Discovery has tapped Luis Silberwasser, who will lead the company’s domestic sports portfolio and oversee a unified, global sports strategy. Silberwasser will be Chairman and Chief Executive of Warner Bros. Discovery Sports;reporting to David Zaslav, Chief Executive Officer, Warner Bros. Discovery. “I have known Luis for many years and have tremendous respect for how hard he works, how collaborative he approaches the job, and his ability to build very successful global businesses and brands,” said Zaslav. “I am thrilled to be working with him again, and believe Luis’ strong international business relationships, leadership track record and passion for delivering the best content and consumer experience make him the ideal leader to oversee the continued growth and expansion of our world-class sports business,” he added.
“I am delighted to join Warner Bros. Discovery during an exciting and innovative time, especially for its newly integrated global sports business and the great team at the company which boasts some of the most compelling on-air talent, world-class production values, and the broadest media rights in the world,” said Silberwasser. "I truly feel like I am returning home under David’s dynamic and forward-thinking leadership and look forward to working with the global sports organization, our sports rights partners, and the entire WBD company to deliver the most compelling and exciting sports programming to our fans and audiences worldwide.”
As President of TelevisaUnivision U.S. Networks Group, Silberwasser has been one of the most senior executives at the company, which this year closed a $4.8 billion deal with Mexican media giant Televisa to create a Spanish-language media colossus. TelevisaUnivision has confirmed the move with a recent statement. "Luis Silberwasser has decided to step down from his position as President of Univision Television Networks Group to pursue new career opportunities. Silberwasser joined Univision in January 2021 to oversee the company’s broadcast and cable networks in the U.S., which includes the entertainment, news, and sports content divisions," the company confirmed.
“We thank Luis for his leadership in the expansion of Univision Network’s audience lead across the company’s portfolio of national broadcast and cable television networks,” said Wade Davis, CEO of TelevisaUnivision. “I want to personally wish him good luck in his new endeavors,” Davis added.
Silberwasser has a longstanding relationship with David Zaslav, Chief Executive of Warner Bros. Discovery, who oversaw Discovery before it merged with WarnerMedia this year. Silberwasser was Executive Vice President at Discovery, responsible for all the content at Discovery Networks International during a tenure at the company that ran over a decade. At Warner Bros. Discovery, Silberwasser will be responsible for managing Warner Bros. Discovery’s U.S. sports portfolio and setting the company’s global sports strategy. The company’s international sports portfolio, including the Olympics, will be managed by Andrew Georgiou, President and Managing Director of WBD Sports Europe. Lenny Daniels, President of Turner Sports, and Patrick Crumb, President of Regional Sports Networks, will report to Silberwasser.
The first challenge for Silberwasser will be to keep programming costs under control while the price of live sports rights soars. For example, Warner Bros. Discovery pays the NBA an average of about $1.2 billion annually for the rights to show N.B.A. games nationally, part of a nine-year agreement signed in 2014. That agreement is up after the 2024-25 season, and the NBA expects its fee to sharply increase during the next round of negotiations, given the rising popularity of the sports globally, according to the New York Times.
Through Turner Sports, Eurosport Networks, and its BT Sports joint venture, Warner Bros. Discovery has a large portfolio of media rights, sports networks and sports-focused streaming platforms. In the U.S, the Company has long-term broadcast rights to the National Basketball League, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League and NCAA Basketball. In Europe, the Company has rights to the Olympics, PGA Tour, ATP World Tour, as well as cycling, tennis and soccer matches. In Latin American countries, sports rights include UEFA and several local soccer leagues. The Company’s four sports streaming services include Eurosport Player that offers localized sports to customers in 52 European markets.