In early May, Warner Bros. Discovery and BT announced that two staples of sports TV in the UK – BT Sport and Eurosport – will be merging into a single premium TV and streaming sports service.
While the news wasn’t surprising (as BT Sport has been looking for a partner for a while) many questions were left unanswered by the initial announcement:
Is Eurosport going away? What will BT Sport customers get from this? Is this going to cost more – or less – than what sports fans are paying now? And the biggest question of all – when is this even happening?
With so many questions coming in from readers, we decided to create this Q&A guide that includes all the information we were able to gather and confirm so far.
Keep in mind, however, that at this stage some of the details can still change, since the deal is waiting for regulatory approval – which is why there are still many unknowns.
But here’s everything we know so far about the upcoming BT Sport / Discovery merger.
The Players: BT Sport, Eurosport And Discovery+
BT Sport, which has been around in its current form since 2013, broadcasts sporting events from the UK and worldwide.
For years, BT Sport was only available as an add-on to traditional pay-TV subscriptions like Sky, or BT’s own BT TV and broadband customers.
Eurosport is a French sports TV network owned by Warner Bros. Discovery. It operates in more than 50 countries and holds the rights to many sporting events around the world.
Eurosport is available as premium channels in the UK, on the pay-TV platforms, yet it also used to have a standalone streaming service, Eurosport Player.
But as we reported last year, Eurosport Player is being phased out in favour of Discovery+, with the sports broadcasts becoming a part of the Discovery+ Sports plan, on the Discovery+ service and app.
Discovery+ is a streaming service that launched in 2020, when it replaced Discovery’s Dplay service (which was totally free), with a combined offering of both free and premium channels.
The free tier on Discovery+ includes several Freeview channels, such as Quest, Really, HGTV and others, while the paid tiers add additional live premium channels, along with their on-demand content – Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, TLC and more.
The paid tier has TWO separate plans: Entertainment (£3.99/month with adverts) and Entertainment + Sports (£6.99/month) – which currently also includes the content that used to reside on Eurosport Player.
BT Sport And Eurosport: What’s Changing?
On May 12, 2022, BT and Discovery announced a new joint venture that will bring together BT Sport and Eurosport.
A 50:50 company will be formed for the joint venture, with BT Sport transferring its operations to Warner Bros. Discovery.
By bringing together the sports content of the two leading services, the new platform will have one of the most extensive portfolios of premium sports rights, including UEFA Champions League, the Premier League, the Olympic Games, Premiership Rugby and more.
When Will Customers See These Changes?
When the deal was first announced, many were under the impression these changes were imminent, with BT Sport and Eurosport already coming together.
But that’s not the case: BT and Warner Bros. Discovery already confirmed that the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including approvals by the relevant regulators.
The deal is therefore expected to complete by the end of 2022.
Until then, nothing will change for customers: BT Sport and Eurosport / Discovery+ are still, for now, two completely separate platforms.
Are BT Sport / Eurosport Going Away?
The short answer is: not yet.
Once the joint venture deal is completed, there will be two separate stages:
1. At first, BT Sport and Eurosport will continue to retain their separate brands and product propositions.
So while customers may get combined deals and offers at that point, BT Sport and Eurosport UK will continue to exist as two separate TV and streaming platforms (but with new owners behind the scenes).
2. In the future, the plan is to bring the two platforms together under a single brand (with either an entirely new name, or one that uses/combines the old names in some way).
If and 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.
What Can I Watch On BT Sport And Eurosport?
Once the two platforms come together, they will hold the rights to some of the most significant sporting events, including (as of this writing):
- UEFA Champions League
- UEFA Europa League
- Premier League
- Premiership Rugby
- The Olympic Games
- Tennis Grand Slams featuring the Australian Open and Roland-Garros
- Cycling Grand Tours including the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia
- Winter sports World Cup season
Will I Get Eurosport / Discovery+ For Free?
While pricing details for the planned combined service haven’t been announced yet, there are benefits for BT TV and BT Sports customers that have been confirmed, and will become available once the final deal comes through.
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.
This means that customers who subscribe to BT Sport via other 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).
It’s worth noting, however, that Sky has a separate deal with Discovery – and currently, Sky Q customers (but not Sky Glass) get one free year of Discovery+. But it’s only the Entertainment tier, without Eurosport’s content.
At this point, it’s unclear whether BT Sport Monthly Pass subscribers, the standalone £25/month streaming service, will also get Discovery+ for free.
Will Discovery+ / Eurosport Customers Get BT Sport For Free?
In the early stages, at least (even once the deal closes), there will be no changes for discovery+ subscribers, and if they want BT Sport, they will have to sign up for it separately.
This is understandable, in terms of pricing – the BT Sport monthly pass currently costs £25/month on its own, so it doesn’t make sense it will get added at no extra cost to Discovery Plus’ £6.99/month subscription.
Will The BT Sport / Eurosport Merger Save Me Money?
In the early stages of the new joint venture, it seems only eligible BT Sport subscribers will save money (£6.99/m) – by getting Discovery+ and its Eurosport content for free.
Going forward, especially once the two brands are joined together into a single platform, we hope the combined cost will be less than the current separate costs of BT Sport and Discovery+/Eurosport – but it’s too early to tell.
How Can I Watch Discovery+, Eurosport And BT Sport?
Discovery+ is a streaming-only app; therefore it relies on your broadband connection.
It’s available on most of the streaming devices sold in the UK, including:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Google Chromecast
- Android / iPhone
- Apple TV
- Samsung Smart TVs
- Sky Q (Subscribers can get a free one-year Discovery+ membership)
- Sky Glass
- Major web browsers
Discovery+ offers two tiers – Entertainment (£3.99/month with adverts) and Entertainment + Sports (£6.99/month), which is the one that includes Eurosport.
You can also sign up to Discovery+ via Amazon, as a Prime Video channel, for the same £6.99/month. That way, you’ll be able to watch Discovery+ (and Eurosport) on any device that has the Prime Video app.
To get BT Sport, you need to either sign up via one of the pay-TV platforms:
Or you can subscribe to the standalone BT Sport Monthly Pass streaming service.
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