BT Sport – Eurosport Merger Approved, Coming ‘In Weeks’

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The merger between BT Sport and Eurosport (owned by Warner Bros. Discovery), which is set to shake up the sports broadcasting market in the UK and Ireland, has been approved today by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

This means that the new joint venture, which will bring together sports content from both BT Sport and Eurosport UK, will be launching “in the coming weeks”.

The new joint platform, which was announced back in May, will feature one of the most extensive portfolios of premium sports rights, including UEFA Champions League, the Premier League, the Olympic Games, Premiership Rugby and more.

UEFA Champions League ball
Photo: Deposit Photos – Artjazz

Following submission to the CMA, BT Group and Warner Bros. Discovery announced today (Friday) that the agreement has been approved, and the new 50:50 Joint Venture can now be formed.

However, both BT Sport and Eurosport UK will initially retain their separate brands and product propositions, therefore things won’t be changing too much for customers – at first.

So while customers may get combined deals and offers soon, BT Sport and Eurosport UK will continue to exist as two separate TV and streaming platforms (but with new owners behind the scenes).

BT Sport streaming on TV

Eurosport used to have a standalone streaming service, Eurosport Player – but as we reported before, Eurosport Player is being phased out in favour of Discovery+, with the sports broadcasts becoming a part of the Discovery+ Sports plan.

The Eurosport linear channel is also available via the pay-TV companies, such as Sky and Virgin Media.

In the future, the plan is to bring BT Sport and Eurosport/Discovery+ together under a single brand (with either an entirely new name, or one that uses/combines the old names in some way).

When that happens, BT Sport and Eurosport UK will no longer exist as separate brands, and customers will get the combined sports broadcasts as part of a single service.

Pricing details for the planned combined service haven’t been announced yet, but some benefits for BT TV and BT Sports customers have already been confirmed, and should become available soon, now that the deal has been approved.

Specifically, BT Sport subscribers who get their subscription directly from BT, as well as most BT TV customers, will get the discovery+ streaming service (along with Eurosport) as part of their subscriptions, at no extra cost.

discovery plus devices jpg
Discovery Plus

This means that customers who subscribe to BT Sport via 3rd party platforms – such as Virgin Media and Sky – will not be part of this deal, and will not get Discovery+ and Eurosport for free (at least as of this writing).

Discovery+ subscribers, however, will not be getting BT Sport for free (though it’s possible they will be offered special deals at some point).

Marc Allera, future Chairman of the new joint venture and CEO of BT’s Consumer division said:

“It’s great news that the CMA has approved the new JV that we are forming with Warner Bros. Discovery, combining the very best of BT Sport and Eurosport UK, to create an exciting new offer for live sport programming in the UK.

“Today is a huge milestone, as we now look toward day one of the new business, which we hope to be in the coming weeks.”

Andrew Georgiou, future board member of the JV and President and Managing Director of Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe, said:

“Combining the capabilities, portfolios and scale of BT Sport and Eurosport UK will be a big win for fans in the UK & Ireland, offering a new destination that will feature all the sport they love in one place.

“We now look forward to closing the transaction and having the opportunity to further engage all stakeholders in the process of forming and developing the JV.”

3 thoughts on “BT Sport – Eurosport Merger Approved, Coming ‘In Weeks’”

  1. Wow, first of all I just want to say thank you once again for your wonderful articles, you have done a wonderful job here with things and I appreciate you dearly!!

    This joint venture sounds really good, the only thing that seems a little up in the air at the moment is of course the pricing structure which they have to match or beat at least as some people have various deals with this also, such as Plusnet for example who are a part of BT, they will have to make sure that this new JV doesn’t eliminate those deals people have there though I’m sure they will be looking into this anyway making it better for everyone really which is key.

    Also there are some people who subscribe to sports channels for one interest only, such as UFC, Rugby or Boxing etc.. so to make something more expensive with the strategy of “You’re getting all these sports” wouldn’t be great for those people who subscribe for specific sports they like to watch.

    Again, I’m sure this will all be great as they are definitely moving in the right direction with all this. As mentioned before Sports are playing catch up here which the music and film industry have already done and really well too with things such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Spotify, Amazon Music etc. so the Sports industry have to fall in line with this too however it all sounds really great and I am intrigued to see if we’ll get a new brand altogether at some point, which would be pretty cool.

    BT Sport have done a wonderful job in the UK, they have been fantastic and I really hope they continue to do so under the new JV also as they have been brilliant!!

    Thank you for such a wonderful article Or as always!! 😊

    • Thank you. I think things will get even more interesting – but also complicated – once HBO Max finally reaches our shores in two years, as they’re talking about combining HBO Max and Discovery into a single service as well, so it’ll be interesting to see how the sports venture fits into that as well.

      • I didn’t know that about HBO but yeah, I think they’re going to definitely have to offer different options as one of the most dated and ridiculous things was Sky making it difficult for people to get Sky Sports or Movies at one point by making customers have to subscribe to the Sky basic package, then pay for Sports and Movies on top when people might have just wanted Sports meaning they are paying for a ton of channels and services they don’t use just so they can pay for Sports or Movies, it’s ridiculous.

        That could never work now, this is what I mean about how Sports have been playing catch up and finally they seem to be getting there as movies have done this with Netflix, Amazon Prime etc.. and all those kind of services and the music industry have done this too with Spotify, Amazon Music and even YouTube.

        I do like the way they are evolving though, they just need to make it available for all and they’ll be fine, quantity of customers will always win in the end and that’s what it needs to be really.

        Thank you for your wonderful articles 😊


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