BT Sport strike TV deal worth up to £633m as company joins forces with 'content powerhouse'
BT Sport has agreed to form a joint venture with Warner Bros Discovery, bringing together television rights to show the Premier League, Champions League and the Olympics in the UK and Ireland.
In February of this year, BT admitted to being in 'exclusive talks' with the US company over a plan to join together BT Sport and Discovery-owned channel Eurosport and have now reached a deal worth as much as £633million to the telecoms giant. As part of this fresh partnership, the two channels will join forces to broadcast sports such as football, tennis and rugby.
A 50:50 joint venture is how the responsibility will be shared to begin with. BT will receive an initial £93m payment in instalments over three years after completion of the deal, with a further £540m up for grabs depending on the successfulness of the project over a four-year period.
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It is understood the BT Sport and Eurosport brands will continue to operate separately in the UK market “before being brought together under a single brand in the future”.
Customers who currently access BT Sport through BT directly, and the majority of BT TV customers, are set to receive discovery+, the streaming service which is home to Eurosport’s live and on-demand programmes, as part of existing subscriptions.
BT chief executive Philip Jansen said: "BT Group has again delivered a strong operational performance thanks to the efforts of our colleagues across the business. We have finalised the sports joint venture with Warner Bros Discovery to improve our content offering to customers, aligning our business with a new global content powerhouse.
"Separately, we have strengthened our strategic partnership and key customer relationship with Sky, having now extended our reciprocal channel supply deal into the next decade and agreed a MoU (memorandum of understanding) to extend our co-provisioning agreement."
BT first launched its coverage of sport in 2013, nearly a decade ago, but are reportedly keen to step away from this market to focus on other key areas of its business such as broadband and mobile services. An initial attempt to take on rival Sky has resulted in the two companies eventually developing a stronger relationship, with the pair issuing each other access to their respective sports channels.