Sunday, June 26, 2022

Warner Bros. Discovery and BT form a huge sports TV company

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Warner Bros. Discovery will soon be operating a massive sports programming platform for the UK and Ireland. The merged company WarnerMedia and Discovery already owns the Eurosport network and now also makes BT Sport its wholly owned subsidiary. This one joint venture will bring together the sports programs of Eurosport and BT, including the UEFA competitions, the Premier League, Premiership Rugby, UFC, the Olympics, tennis Grand Slams such as the Australian Open and Roland-Garros, as well as cycling tours such as Tour de France.

Sports streaming service DAZN was about to acquire BT Sport for $800 million in February, but BT Group eventually decided to enter into a 50:50 joint venture with Warner Bros. Discovery. Initially, Eurosport and BT Sport will keep separate brands, but in the future they will be brought together under one brand. The BT Group will receive £93 million ($113.3 million) within three years of the transaction closing and up to £540 million ($658 million) in additional payment based on how the company performs during the earn-out period.

While the joint sports venture will become a huge competition for Sky Sports, it will enter into a new agreement with Sky for the distribution of their combined sports programming after 2030. BT TV and BT Sport subscribers will also have access to the discovery+ streaming service, which will serves as the home base for Eurosport’s live and on-demand videos in the UK and Ireland.

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