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BT Sport strike TV deal worth up to £633m as company joins forces with 'content powerhouse'

By Tom Cavilla

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.

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Dive Deeper:
BT and Warner Bros Discovery join forces to create pay-TV sport business
Joint venture will bring together rights to sports including Premier League, Champions League and Olympics
BT seals Warner Bros Discovery sports joint venture deal
BT Group has agreed to form a new sports joint venture with Warner Bros Discovery in the UK and Ireland.
“Build like fury” - BT boss pledge on faster internet speeds
BT boss Philip Jansen today hailed the telecom giant’s roll out of top speed internet, saying the Openreach arm “continues…
BT-Warner Bros Discovery Collaborate Over Premium Sports in UK and Ireland
BT Group Plc (OTC:BTGOF) concluded its long-awaited deal with Warner Bros Discovery, Inc (NASDAQ:WBD) to form a joint venture for its sports business as it reinstated its…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
PFA chief executive: Champions League changes made with no player consultation
UEFA finally confirmed a new look for Europe’s premier club competition this week.
Looney’s tune on windfall taxes is unpersuasive
The BP chief executive calls the proposed levy ‘unpredictable’ but it is also thoroughly affordable
Get all your news in one place