Warner Bros. Discovery selects sports supervisor for navigation in the streaming era

Warner Bros. Discovery, the media giant created by the merger of HBO and the owners of “90 Days Groom”, has chosen an executive who managed billions of dollars in sports rights, one of the cornerstones of the company, people say. Decision knowledge. The company now has the right to play games from the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League.

The CEO, Louis Silberwasser, will be responsible for bringing the company’s sports programming – which includes “Inside the NBA”, the NCAA March Madness Men’s Basketball Tournament, and the Playoff Baseball – to the streaming era. The decision is expected to be announced on Thursday, said people who spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to consider the appointment.

Mr. Silberwasser was one of the top executives at Univision, signing a $ 4.8 billion deal this year with Mexican media giant Televisa to create a Spanish-language media colossus. He is a TelevisaUnivision Inc. President of the US Networks Group, which reports to Wade Davis, CEO of Univision.

Mr. Silberwasser has a long-standing relationship with David Zaslav, Warner Bros. With Discovery CEO who oversaw Discovery before it merged with WarnerMedia this year. Mr. Silberwasser was the Executive Vice President of Discovery, responsible for the content of Discovery Networks International, while working for the company for more than ten years. His title will be Warner Bros. Chairman and CEO of Discovery Sports.

Mr. Silberwasser, a Latino lover, is one of the few executives of color on Mr. Zaslav’s management team. He joins Savalle Sims, the company’s general counsel, and Channing Dungey, chairman of the Warner Brothers Television Group, who are black. Warner Bros. Discovery has taken steps to diversify its board of directors, and Mr. Silberwasser’s appointment makes him one of the most powerful Latin executives in the US media industry.

Mr. Silberwasser will need to control programming costs before the price of live sports rights rises. Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav told Wall Street that the company will be disciplined about spending on content, but he also wants the company to remain a major player in the sports media arena. These two goals can contradict each other.

One notable example: NBA Warner Bros. Discovery pays an average of $ 1.2 billion a year to qualify for NBA games nationally, as part of a nine-year deal signed in 2014. The deal is in effect after the 2024-25 season, and the NBA expects its fees to rise dramatically during the next round of talks given the NBA’s growing popularity globally, according to the deal expert.

There is no doubt that Warner Bros. Discovery will have to pay more to continue showing the NBA, which is the best raffle on its cable channel TNT and sports website Bleacher Report. The NFL has almost doubled media revenue from rights agreements signed last year, and the NHL, the South East Conference and other sports leagues have seen a huge increase in recently completed deals.

Mr. Silberwasser will be in charge of Warner Bros. Managing Discovery’s U.S. sports portfolio and shaping the company’s global sports strategy. The company’s international sports portfolio, including the Olympic Games, is managed by Andrew Georgiou, President and Managing Director of WBD Sports Europe. Lenny Daniels, President of Turner Sports, and Patrick Kramb, President of Regional Sports Networks, will report to Mr. Silberwasser.

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