Warner Bros. Discovery plans to keep Discovery+ as a stand-alone streaming service, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal. This would represent a major change in the company's strategy, as until a few weeks ago it planned to consolidate all its content on a single platform.
Under its initial plan, HBO Max and Discovery+ were going to be merged to form a new single streaming product that would include the full libraries of both. This platform, which is yet to be named, although reports suggest it will be called Max, remains on course to debut in the United States in the upcoming months, before rolling out in Latin America and other regions before the end of the year.
However, with the adjusted strategy, Discovery+ will continue to be available as a standalone offering in the United States. According to The Wall Street Journal, the decision was made because Warner Bros. Discovery executives felt some Discovery+ subscribers would be unwilling to pay a significant price increase for the combined service.
With more than 22 million global subscribers, Discovery+ is currently priced at US$4.99 per month (with ads) and US$6.99 (without ads), while HBO Max costs US$9.99 per month (with ads) and US$15.99 (without ads). It is expected that the new combined service will be even more expensive than HBO Max currently is.
● WARNER BROS. DISCOVERY ADDS MORE SPORTS CONTENT
At the same time, Warner Bros. Discovery announced that it has acquired the Spanish broadcasting rights to Ligue 1 Uber Eats for the remainder of the 2022-2023 season, as well as the entire 2023-2024 campaign. Thanks to this new agreement, Eurosport Spain will offer full and exclusive coverage of the French football league across its television channels and digital platforms in Spain.
Eurosport Spain is now the only place to enjoy all the matches of each Ligue 1 Uber Eats matchday in Spain. Each week of the competition, the public will be able to follow two league matches live on Eurosport Spain channels, while the rest of the matches will be available live and on demand only on the Eurosport App.
Warner Bros. Discovery penned the agreement with beIN Media Group, the exclusive international distributor for premium French football and the key properties of the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP), specifically Ligue 1 Uber Eats and Trophee des Champions.
"We are very pleased and proud to be able to offer audiences in Spain full and exclusive access to one of the best football leagues in the world that brings together some of the biggest stars in the sport such as Messi, Neymar and Mbappé. Warner Bros. Discovery is a reference for sports fans across Europe and, with this new acquisition, the Spanish audience will be able to enjoy this great international sporting event that adds to WBD's extensive catalogue of sports content and adds great value to Eurosport's offer through its channels and digital platforms in Spain," said Alessandro Araimo, GM Italy & Iberia at Warner Bros. Discovery.