Warner Bros. Discovery Picks Sports Chief to Navigate Streaming Era

Warner Bros. Discovery, the media big created by the fusion of the house owners of HBO and “90 Day Fiancé,” mentioned Thursday that it had picked an government to handle its billions of {dollars} of sports activities rights, one of many cornerstones of the company. The company now has the rights to video games from the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League.

The government, Luis Silberwasser, can be accountable for ushering the company’s sports activities programming — which incorporates “Inside the NBA,” the N.C.A.A. March Madness males’s basketball match and playoff baseball — additional into the streaming period.

Mr. Silberwasser has been one of the crucial senior executives at Univision, which closed a $4.8 billion cope with the Mexican media big Televisa this year to create a Spanish-language media colossus. He is president of TelevisaUnivision Inc. U.S. Networks Group, reporting to Wade Davis, Univision’s chief government.

Mr. Silberwasser has a longstanding relationship with David Zaslav, the chief government of Warner Bros. Discovery, who oversaw Discovery earlier than it merged with WarnerMedia this year. Mr. Silberwasser was an government vp at Discovery, accountable for content material at Discovery Networks International, throughout a tenure on the company that ran greater than a decade. His title can be chairman and chief government of Warner Bros. Discovery Sports.

Mr. Silberwasser, who’s Latino, is one of some executives of coloration on Mr. Zaslav’s administration group. He joins Savalle Sims, the company’s basic counsel, and Channing Dungey, the chairman of Warner Brothers Television Group, who’re Black. Warner Bros. Discovery has taken steps to diversify its board of administrators, and Mr. Silberwasser’s appointment makes him one of the crucial highly effective Latino executives within the U.S. media trade.

Mr. Silberwasser will want to preserve programming prices below management whereas the worth of dwell sports activities rights soars. Mr. Zaslav has instructed Wall Street that the company can be disciplined about its spending on content material, however he additionally needs the company to stay a significant participant within the sports-media area. Those two targets could possibly be at odds.

One distinguished instance: the N.B.A. Warner Bros. Discovery pays an average of about $1.2 billion per year for the rights to present N.B.A. video games nationally, a part of a nine-year settlement signed in 2014. That settlement is up after the 2024-25 season, and the N.B.A. is anticipating its payment to sharply improve in the course of the subsequent spherical of negotiations given the league’s rising world reputation, an individual aware of the settlement mentioned.

There is little doubt that Warner Bros. Discovery can have to pay extra to proceed exhibiting the N.B.A., which is a prime draw for its cable channel TNT and sports activities web site Bleacher Report. The N.F.L. almost doubled its media income from rights agreements signed final year, and the N.H.L., the Southeastern Conference and different sports activities leagues have seen large will increase in lately accomplished offers.

Mr. Silberwasser can be accountable for managing Warner Bros. Discovery’s U.S. sports activities portfolio and setting the company’s world sports activities technique. The company’s worldwide sports activities portfolio, together with the Olympics, can be managed by Andrew Georgiou, the president and managing director of WBD Sports Europe. Lenny Daniels, the president of Turner Sports, and Patrick Crumb, the president of regional sports activities networks, will report to Mr. Silberwasser.

Back to top button