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ITV 'withdraws interest in BT Sport tie-up'

ITV 'withdraws interest in BT Sport tie-up'
© Reuters
ITV reportedly decides against a tie-up with BT Sport after exploratory discussions between the two broadcasters.

ITV has reportedly decided against making an investment in BT Sport following the news that BT is in the market for a broadcasting partner.

The telecoms giant confirmed last month that it is in discussions with a number of parties about a possible tie-up on the TV sports division of its business as it instead looks to divert investment into fibre broadband rollout.

ITV, the UK's largest commercial broadcaster, was named as one of the possible partners in BT Sport, which owns the broadcasting rights to the Premier League, the FA Cup, Champions League, Europa League, German Bundesliga and other properties.

According to The Times, however, after holding discussions ITV is "not planning to take it any further" - and furthermore, the newspaper goes on to claim that mooted interest from Amazon, Disney and Discovery has also dried up.

That would leave streaming service DAZN, owned by British-American billionaire Sir Leonard Blavatnik, as the last known interested party in some kind of deal with BT.

The outfit has made its name with boxing rights but recently pulled off a shock coup of the domestic rights to Italy's Serie A from Sky Italia in a three-year £730m deal and is known to want to enter the UK market in a serious way.

BT is thought to be keen to resolve the future of BT Sport in short order as the broadcaster is close to agreeing a rollover of its portion of Premier League rights for another three seasons.

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States24282173
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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