Max could start showing free live sports — but there’s a catch

Max on a TV screen with a bowl of popcorn
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you’re a Max subscriber who’s a fan of live sports, you’ll be happy to hear that the service will start offering live games later this year. Better still those games will be available at no extra cost, according to sources speaking to Bloomberg, though it won’t stay that way forever.

According to sources Max will be offering live basketball, baseball and hockey, which Warner Bros hopes will drive new subscriptions to the platform. Unfortunately those same sources say that viewers will likely have to start paying extra for sports next year — likely around February or March.

In other words the first taste is free, and it’s probably no coincidence that the viewers start having to pay for sports right before March Madness.

Max wouldn’t be the first streaming company to try and capitalize on the popularity of live sports, in an attempt to boost its own subscriber count. Disney has ESPN Plus, Paramount Global offers football, Peacock has rights to football and soccer, while Amazon Prime Video has a range of different sporting games seemingly dependent on what Amazon can buy in each region.

Of course there is a balancing act between pulling people to streaming without affecting the performance of cable sports channels — which are already incredibly profitable. And as we’ve seen the past few months, streaming services are increasingly looking for ways to cut costs. Offering more free sports, at the expense of more profitable cable alternatives, would seemingly work contrary to that.

For now sources claim that Warner Bros is in talks with sports leagues to ensure it has the correct rights to make this happen. It’s also unclear if and when such a move would be announced — so we’re going to have to sit tight and be patient.

In the meantime anyone hoping to ditch cable can still watch live sports channels with one of the best cable TV alternatives and by checking out our guide on how to cut the cord.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.