TV Answer Man, do you know anything about HBO Max showing live soccer games with the United States national teams? I didn’t know they did live sports. Is this something new? — Vic, Pasadena, California. 

Vic, HBO Max, the subscription streaming service which starts at $9.99 a month for its ads-included plan, has streamed some live soccer games outside of the United States (Mexico) but it has not done any live sports domestically. (The cable/satellite version of HBO, of course, has done live sports for years, especially boxing.)

But that will change tonight when HBO Max streams the U.S. Women’s National Team’s game against New Zealand at 10 p.m. ET from the Sky Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand. The broadcast kicks off an eight-year deal between Turner Broadcasting and the U.S. Soccer Federation. HBO Max is scheduled to stream 20 U.S. women’s and men’s matches each year with roughly half of those simulcast on the Turner sister networks, TNT and TBS.

The next scheduled live game on HBO Max will be Friday when the U.S. women’s team plays New Zealand again at 10 p.m. ET. Then, on Wednesday, January 25, the U.S. men’s team will play Serbia at 10 p.m. ET on the streaming service.

Turner also has the rights to NHL and NBA games so it’s possible that HBO Max could stream those leagues as well. But thus far, nothing has been announced.

HBO Max’s entry into live sports continues a trend in the subscription VOD industry with Paramount+, Hulu, Amazon all offering live games with their lineup of movies and TV shows. Netflix has been rumored to be interested in pursuing live sports rights as well but has yet to pull the trigger.

Vic, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann