Discovery has teamed up with Major League Baseball-backed media and technology unit BAMTech to create a new European technology joint venture that will provide content owners, broadcasters and OTT platforms with platform capabilities to extend the reach of their services.
BAMTech Europe’s first client will be Discovery’s Eurosport, which will gain access to European sports rights, including current and future rights held by BAMTech and future rights acquired by the JV.
BAMTech has designed and implemented direct-to-consumer streaming services that currently serve 7.5 million subscribers globally with its US-based clients’ OTT products.
BAMTech’s video platform and services will be implemented in 2017 across all of Eurosport Digital’s products, including Eurosport.com and Eurosport Player.
Discovery’s partnership with BAMTech follows the recent appointment of Ralph Rivera as managing director of Eurosport Digital.
The Discovery move is the second major recent pairing of BAMTech with a major media group. In August, Disney announced that it was taking a US$1 billion (€912 million) stake in BAMTech in two tranches that will give it a one third stake in the company, with the option to become the majority shareholder in the future.
The Disney partnership will see Disney and BAMTech collaborate with ESPN to launch a new sports subscription streaming service in the US, including live regional, national and international sports events. As part of that deal BAMTech was split off from Major League Baseball’s digital business, MLB Advanced Media.
“Across Europe, Discovery has led the way in pay-TV and free-to-air services, and expanded into new content genres such as general entertainment and sports,” said JB Perrette, president and CEO at Discovery Networks International. “This partnership with BAMTech is an important next step in our evolution to develop more consumer centric capabilities and services – focused initially on Eurosport.”