ITV rules out BT Sport deal, but CEO Jansen still optimistic of sale

BT is hopeful of striking a deal for its Sport brand of channels, despite one potential suitor ruling out an acquisition.

The telco had previously stated its intentions to explore the options surrounding BT Sport at a time when it is rapidly scaling up investment in its fibre network. 

But while BT is open to a sale, ITV will not be making moves to purchase the sports broadcaster. 

While initially touted as a potential suitor for BT Sport, ITV CEO Carolyn McCall has shut down speculation. Speaking on a media call, the CEO said: “We’ve been very focused on our balance sheet, we’re really very robust. We still see uncertainty ahead [amid the pandemic], it’s not the kind of acquisition we would do.”

Another party said to be interested in a deal for BT Sport is News UK, with reports emerging in June that the Rupert Murdoch-owned media company could make a play though an official bid is yet to manifest.

Following McCall’s comments, BT CEO Phillip Jansen told reporters that it is “open-minded” on a sale and is exploring ways to take BT Sport “to the next stage of its growth”.  

Jansen added that it hopes to announce a deal by the next quarter.

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