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BT 'exploring sale of stake in BT Sport'

BT 'exploring sale of stake in BT Sport'
BT is said to be considering selling off BT Sport, with the likes of Amazon, Disney and DAZN identified as potential suitors.

BT has appointed investment bank Lazard to explore the potential sale of a stake in its BT Sport division, according to a report in The Telegraph today.

The telecoms giant launched BT Sport in 2013 after poaching the second tranche of UK rights to the Premier League from ESPN and the broadcaster has since gone on to establish itself as a key player in the market next to Sky Sports.

BT has secured a plethora of sporting rights in the years since, including the Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup, the Bundesliga, Ligue 1, top-flight Premiership rugby and WWE wrestling.

Lazard is said to be in talks with three key interested parties - Amazon, which already holds a modest portion of Premier League rights; Disney, which has become a huge streaming player with Disney+ in the last 18 months and also owns ESPN, the broadcaster which BT effectively shunted out of the way in the UK; and DAZN, a fledgling streaming service funded by a Ukrainian billionaire that has been making its name with boxing coverage.

It is understood that BT's preference is to establish a joint venture with a new partner, allowing it to focus investment on infrastructure for fibre and gigabit broadband while still keeping its feet in the content business.

The news of BT's strategy comes as the Premier League looks to scrap its TV rights auction in favour of reaching a continuity agreement with Sky, BT and Amazon for the three seasons from 2022-23 to 2024-25.

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Wednesday, August 4

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The Paris Hilton cookery show is here.

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This week, single mum Emma, who's already set a wedding date with online beau Harry - but has never met him

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New two-part drama about the still-unexplained disappearance of Lord Lucan in 1974
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States24282173
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee13211852
Great BritainGreat Britain13171343
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events

· Team GB starlet Sky Brown - aged just 13 - takes part in the women's park event and has a realistic chance of picking up a medal too. Bombette Martin is Britain's other representative, while hosts Japan are among the favourites for gold (1am)

· Great Britain's women have more history in their sights heading into their semi-final against Netherlands - the team they beat in the 2016 gold medal match (2.30am)

· The men's 400m hurdles final on Tuesday will go down as one of the greatest Olympic races of all time, and the women will attempt to emulate that, with new world record holder Sydney McLaughlin of USA and Netherlands' Femke Bol the favourites for gold (3.30am)
· Nick Miller is Britain's representative in the men's hammer throw final (12.15pm)
· The men's 800m final could be a wide-open affair (1.05pm)
· A thrilling men's 200m final is in store as the likes of Andre de Grasse, Noah Lyles and 17-year-old sensation Erriyon Knighton bid to succeed Usain Bolt as Olympic champion (1.55pm)

· After a medal-laden day on the water on Tuesday, Great Britain will be looking for more success, starting with Luke Patience and Chris Grube in the men's 470-class medal race (6.33am)
· Team GB also have medal hopes in the women's event, with defending champion Hannah Mills looking to retain her crown alongside new teammate Eilidh McIntyre (7.33am)

· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Great Britain's Frazer Clarke faces Uzbekistan's Bakhodir Jalolov in the men's super heavyweight with a place in the gold medal bout up for grabs (7.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also guaranteed a medal, but will look to ensure that is either gold or silver as he takes on Cuba's Arlen Lopez in the light heavyweight final (7.35am)

· World records have been tumbling in the velodrome, and another could go in the men's team pursuit final as Italy - new world record holders themselves - face Denmark (10.06am)

· Three Brits have made into into the final of the men's jumping individual final, including fastest qualifier Ben Maher, who will bid to inherit compatriot Nick Skelton's Olympic crown (11am)

> Today's schedule in full