BT Sport and Eurosport to merge as £540m Warner Bros deal threatens Sky Sports
BT Sport and Eurosport are going to merge in a £540million deal that could threaten Sky Sports.
BT has confirmed they have struck an agreement with US media giant Warner Bros Discovery after entering into negotiations earlier this year. It will see their sports channels join forces in a 50:50 venture with Eurosport.
Their respective TV rights will be brought together, so customers of each will be able to access the other's content. BT have the exclusive rights to the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League in the UK, as well as a select amount of Premier League fixtures amongst their other offerings.
Eurosport have the rights for the Olympics and the Winter Olympics, as well as Grand Slam tennis and cycling Grand Tours. While the two brands will initially stay separate, there are plans for them to be combined down the line.
The merger has pocketed BT £93m from Warner Bros Discovery up front, with that figure potentially rising to £540m if conditions are met. And it strengthens the competition to Sky in the sports market.
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BT Consumer CEO Marc Allera said: “As a global sports and entertainment broadcaster Warner Bros Discovery is the perfect partner to work with us to take BT Sport to the next stage of its growth.
"We’re excited to be joining forces to bring the best of BT Sport together with Eurosport UK to create a fantastic new sports offer alongside all the entertainment that discovery+ has to offer BT customers.
“I’m incredibly proud of the established, creative and innovative broadcaster that BT Sport has become. We have a brilliant team who are dedicated to broadcasting amazing sporting moments and we look forward to working with Eurosport UK to realise the opportunities that this next stage will bring both our team and our viewers.”
BT TV customers are also set to receive discovery+, the entertainment streaming service where Eurosport can be watched live and on-demand, as part of the deal.
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