BT Sport and Eurosport are set to combine into one combined entity as BT and Warner Bros. Discovery look to take on Sky Sports.
The companies have confirmed the creation of a new joint-venture, following the pair’s exclusive negotiations that were announced in February.
The 50:50 joint venture will see both companies hold equal voting rights, while the production and operational assets of BT Sport will transfer to and become a wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Bros. Discovery.
BT plc will receive £93m from Warner Bros. Discovery and up to approximately £540m by way of an earn-out. The earn-out period will end at the earliest of four years post completion of the Transaction; the exercise by Warner Bros. Discovery of the Call Option; and if the earn-out reaches the agreed cap.
The combined entity will have an extensive portfolio of premium sports rights including UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, the Premier League, Premiership Rugby, UFC, the Olympic Games, tennis Grand Slams featuring the Australian Open and Roland-Garros, cycling Grand Tours including the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia and the winter sports World Cup season.
BT said that the majority of its TV customers, including those who access BT Sport through BT directly, are set to receive SVOD discovery+ as part of existing subscriptions.
Both BT Sport and Eurosport UK will initially retain their separate brands and product propositions in the market before being brought together under a single brand in the future.
Marc Allera, CEO BT’s Consumer division and soon to be chairperson of the JV, said: “As a global sports and entertainment broadcaster Warner Bros. Discovery is the perfect partner to work with us to take BT Sport to the next stage of its growth. We’re excited to be joining forces to bring the best of BT Sport together with Eurosport UK to create a fantastic new sports offer alongside all the entertainment that discovery+ has to offer BT customers.”
“I’m incredibly proud of the established, creative and innovative broadcaster that BT Sport has become. We have a brilliant team who are dedicated to broadcasting amazing sporting moments and we look forward to working with Eurosport UK to realise the opportunities that this next stage will bring both our team and our viewers.”
Andrew Georgiou, president and managing director, Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe said: “We are excited to bring fans a new premium sport offering that brings together everything they love from BT Sport and Eurosport UK. Combining this with our growing portfolio of premium entertainment content promises to deliver consumers a richer and deeper content proposition, not only providing greater value from their subscriptions but bringing sport to a wider entertainment audience.”