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BT in exclusive talks with Discovery on sports TV joint-venture

BT in exclusive talks with Discovery on sports TV joint-venture

February 4, 2022: -On Thursday, Britain’s BT Group said it had entered exclusive discussions with Discovery to create a joint venture amid BT Sport and pan-European TV network Eurosport.

Announcing the deal as it said Covid-19 and supply chain issues would reach revenue this year, BT said in sports television rather than going for an outright sale to streaming service DAZN, which had also made an offer.

BT said the new business would be a 50:50 joint venture and would remain committed to retaining BT Sport’s existing primary sport broadcast rights, like Premier League soccer.

Discovery was vying with streaming service DAZN, which wanted to buy BT Sport outright.

The joint venture will bring together the Olympic Games, Premier League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, cycling Grand Tours, tennis Grand Slams, the winter sports World Cup season, and Premiership Rugby, the companies said.

Marc Allera, BT’s Consumer chief executive, said the joint venture would create an “exciting new sports broadcasting entity” for the UK.

“With a shared ambition for growth, and the combination of our world-class sports assets along with Discovery’s premium sports and entertainment content, our customers will benefit from more content in more places,” he said.

DAZN Chairman Kevin Mayer said in a statement that the deal for BT Sport had “become uneconomical” for DAZN, but he stayed committed to growing the business in Britain.

BT announced as it reported a trading update for the nine months to end-December, with revenue decreasing 2% in the period to 15.68 billion pounds, with declines in global and enterprise partly offset by growth in the Openreach network.

As a result of Covid-19 and supply chain issues, it expected adjusted revenue for the year to be down nearly 2%.

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