Other Sports: BT in exclusive talks with Discovery on sport TV joint-venture


LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s BT Group has entered exclusive discussions with Discovery to create a three way partnership between BT Sport and Eurosport, saying the transfer would maintain it in the “thrilling” content material enterprise whereas sharing costly rights prices.

Announcing the deal because it stated COVID-19 and provide chain points would hit income this yr, BT opted to remain in sports activities tv reasonably than going for an outright sale to streaming service DAZN, which had additionally made a proposal.

BT stated it might stay dedicated to retaining BT Sport’s current main sports activities rights, together with its crown jewel: Premier League soccer.

The 50:50 three way partnership may even have rights to the Olympic Games, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, biking Grand Tours, tennis Grand Slams, the winter sport World Cup season and Premiership Rugby, the businesses stated.

Discovery beat DAZN, which sources informed Reuters was close to to agreeing an outright deal final month.

BT Chief Executive Philip Jansen stated there have been two excellent choices, however Discovery gained.

“From a company monetary perspective, the profile a lot improves, as a result of clearly there can be synergies, each in value and income,” he informed reporters.

“And it retains us very a lot in the aggressive framework for what’s a really attention-grabbing, thrilling content material market.”

DAZN Chairman Kevin Mayer stated the deal had “grow to be uneconomical”, however he remained dedicated to rising his enterprise in Britain.

Shares in BT had been buying and selling down 3% at 189 pence in early offers because it lowered its outlook for full-year income from broadly flat to down 2% as a result of impression of COVID.

Revenue additionally fell 2% in the 9 months to end-December to fifteen.68 billion kilos, with declines in international and enterprise partly offset by progress in the Openreach community.

Jansen stated, nevertheless, that value financial savings meant it was holding its adjusted earnings goal of seven.5 billion to 7.7 billion kilos this monetary yr and greater than 7.9 billion kilos subsequent yr unchanged.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Kate Holton and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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