Discovery, BT Sports Progress Talks For ‘New Sport And Entertainment’ Offering In UK
Discovery and BT Sport are exclusively talking.
Discovery, a US television giant, and BT Group, who owns four channels in the UK, are working on a deal to create a “new sport and entertainment offering for customers in the UK.”
“The new business would be a 50/50 joint venture, bringing together BT Sport with Eurosport UK,” BT said in a statement.
“The new combined business would remain committed to retaining BT Sport’s existing major sports broadcast rights while BT Sport customers would get access to Discovery’s sport and entertainment content, including the discovery+ app.”
Along with BT’s four channels, Eurosport has two and owns the rights of the Olympics and tennis. It broadcasts streams of every Olympic sport on Discovery+ during the games.
The announced negotiations reveal a blow to DAZN’s hopes of expanding in the UK. DAZN has been bidding to take over BT Sport and Eurosport UK, which would have given them a number of sports like Premier League and Champions League football.
Now DAZN’s only offering in the UK is boxing.
Kevin Mayer, the DAZN chairman, said the targeted deal became “uneconomical.”
“On this occasion, however, the deal for BT Sport became uneconomical for DAZN,” Mayer said. “However, we respect that BT chose a different strategic path and wish BT, BT Sport and Discovery all the best for the future.”
DAZN has an exclusive long-term deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing while BT Sport had a similar one with Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions.