BT and Warner Bros. Discovery have agreed the final terms for combing their respective BT Sport and Eurosport channels and sports rights holdings into a joint venture.
The new 50:50 joint venture will cover the pair’s operations in the UK & Ireland and creates a sports broadcaster with rights to a host of major sporting events and competitions 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.
Both existing brands and their products will be retained in the short-term before being brought together under a single identity in the future.
BT will receive £93m from Warner Bros. Discovery and up to approximately £540m by way of an earn-out from the JV, and Warner Bros. Discovery will be granted a Call Option over BT plc’s 50% holding in the JV, exercisable at specified points in the first four years of the JV.
The deal will also see the discovery+ streaming service, which is home to Eurosport’s live and on-demand streaming offer in the UK & Ireland, made available to customers who access BT Sport through BT directly, and the majority of BT TV customers.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to complete by the end of 2022.
Marc Allera, CEO BT’s Consumer division, 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.”