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BT Sport, Eurosport confirm merger

BT Sport, Eurosport confirm merger
BT Sport and Eurosport UK confirm plans to merge and form a new "premium" sports joint-venture.

BT and Warner Bros Discovery have announced a new joint-venture that will see BT Sport merge with Eurosport UK.

Last year BT confirmed it was looking at options for BT Sport, ranging from an outright sale to some form of joint-venture, and now the firm has announced the latter.

As part of the deal with media giant Warner Bros Discovery, BT will receive £93m to initiate the 50:50 operation, with the possibility of up to a further £540m in the coming years based on agreed targets. Warner Bros Discovery also has the option to buy out BT at various points over the next four years.

The new venture will have access to a wealth of sporting rights, including the Premier League, Champions League, Serie A and Premiership Rugby through BT, as well as the Olympics, tennis Grand Slams and the Tour de France via Eurosport.

In a statement, the two companies confirmed that BT Sport and Eurosport would maintain their individual identities for the time being but added that they would rebrand under a new single name in the future.

Additionally, Warner Bros Discovery's discovery+ streaming service - soon to be merged with HBO Max - will be made available free to BT Sport customers who subscribe via BT, as well as to most customers of BT TV.

"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," said Marc Allera, chief executive of BT's consumer division.

"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."

The firms also confirmed their intent to sign a new long-term agreement with Sky running until "beyond 2030" to ensure continued carriage of their channels on the UK's largest pay-TV platform.

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