Warner Bros. Discovery Sports seals JV deal with BT Sport to create new UK and Ireland sports broadcasting brand
Warner Bros. Discovery and BT Group have today completed their transaction to form a 50:50 joint venture (JV) that combines the assets of BT Sport and Eurosport UK.
The move brings together one of the most extensive line ups of live sport coverage for fans in the UK and Ireland, including the Olympic Games, the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, the Premier League, Premiership Rugby, MotoGP, UFC, Boxing, WWE, tennis Grand Slams, cycling Grand Tours and the winter sports World Cup season.
As work begins to develop the new sports offering for the UK and Ireland, BT Sport and Eurosport UK will retain their separate product propositions for a period of time. BT Sport and Eurosport UK customers can continue to enjoy the current sport offerings in all the same ways they do currently.
Over time, the intention is to launch a new sports brand in the market and present this combined sports offering together with an entertainment offering from Warner Bros. Discovery.
Marc Allera, chairman of the JV and CEO BT’s consumer division said: “As we enter our ninth season, today is day one of an exciting new chapter for BT Sport. I am extremely proud of the teams and the established brand and broadcaster that BT Sport has become, and I look forward to working with Warner Bros. Discovery to create an exciting new sport TV offering for the UK.”
Andrew Georgiou, board member of the JV and president and managing director at Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe, said: “Today marks the start of our journey to build a new sports destination for fans in the UK and Ireland. Combining BT Sport and Eurosport UK together with Warner Bros. Discovery’s world-class and growing entertainment offering will result in an exciting new proposition for consumers.
“It’s important for fans to know they can continue to enjoy BT Sport and Eurosport UK as they do today and we’ll keep them updated on future plans as soon as we can. We are pleased the transaction has closed and we can now further engage all stakeholders in the process of establishing the JV and developing its extensive combined sports offer.”
The JV’s board of directors is equally represented between appointees of British Telecommunications and Warner Bros. Discovery. The first chairperson, nominated by each shareholder on a rotating basis, is Allera. Georgiou is also a member of the board and will lead the business.