Sunday, May 29, 2022

BT Sport in talks with Discovery over huge takeover to rival Sky Sports as DAZN lose out on £600m-plus venture

DISCOVERY is close to agreeing a merger with BT Sport that could change the face of British sports broadcasting.

The proposed 50:50 joint venture, planned to start before the end of the year, will create a major rival to Sky Sports.

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BT Sport are set for a major merger with Discovery and will rival Sky Sports

If approved, the new company would have rights to the Prem, Champions and Europa Leagues, Olympic Games, Grand Slam tennis, cycling’s Grand Tours and Premiership rugby.

BT had been involved in discussions with both Discovery and streaming company DAZN about the planned sell-off.

DAZN were understood to be ready to pay around £600million for BT Sport but the joint venture is not a straight cash deal.

Any agreement requires a green light from the industry regulator Ofcom plus the various sporting bodies.

Prem club bosses are set to discuss it at their “shareholders” meeting next Thursday.

But Discovery are still confident the deal will eventually go through.

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Company President and chief executive Jean-Briac Perrette said: “We are excited about this opportunity with BT Group to offer consumers a stronger and simplified combined sport offering in the UK and Ireland.

“More broadly, it will  advance our strategy of bringing sports and entertainment to more consumers on the platform of their choice. 

“We are aligned with BT Group on a shared vision to maximise the value and appeal of our respective UK sport assets, and we look forward to concluding a deal in the coming weeks.”   

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