BT Sport and Eurosport UK are combining into a single joint venture, providing subscribers with a single premium TV and streaming sports service.
By bringing together the sports content offering of both BT Sport and Eurosport UK, 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.
Warner Bros. Discovery, which owns Eurosport, has announced the deal today, following ongoing negotiations with BT. A 50:50 company will be formed for the joint venture, with BT Sport transferring its operations to Warner Bros. Discovery.
Customers who currently access BT Sport through BT directly, and the majority of BT TV customers, will receive Discovery+, the lifestyle and entertainment streaming service, as part of their existing subscriptions.
Discovery+ is also the home to Eurosport’s live and on-demand streaming offer in the UK & Ireland.
On the other side, it’s still unclear whether existing Discovery+ subscribers will be getting access to content from BT Sport right away.
At this stage, both BT Sport and Eurosport UK will initially retain their separate brands and product propositions, before being brought together under a single brand in the future.
BT Sport And Discovery – What Are They?
BT Sport broadcasts sporting events from the UK and around the world. For years, BT Sport was only available as an add-on to traditional pay-TV subscriptions like Sky, or BT’s own BT Broadband customers.
There’s been a lot of talk in the past year about BT possibly selling its BT Sport business, with two names mentioned as possible buyers: Dazn and Discovery (with ITV also being mentioned as a potential buyer at some point).
News of the negotiations with Discovery was first reported a few months ago, and exclusive discussions have been going on since, with the deal finally being announced today.
Discovery (which is now Warner Bros. Discovery following their recent merger) owns the Eurosport brand, which includes linear channels on pay-TV platforms (such as Sky) in the UK.
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.
Discovery+ is a streaming service that launched in 2020, replacing Discovery’s Dplay service (which was totally free), with a combined offering of both free and “premium” channels.
Currently, 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.
Furthermore, the paid tier has TWO separate plans: Entertainment (£3.99/month with adverts) and Entertainment + Sports (£6.99/month) – which now also includes the content that used to reside on Eurosport Player – and, with the new deal – will also include BT Sport.
BT Sports And Eurosport Coming Together
According to the details of the new deal announced today, the new platform will be structured as a 50:50 joint venture, with each of BT plc and Warner Bros. Discovery holding equal voting rights in the Joint Venture.
At the completion of the deal, the production and operational assets of BT Sport will transfer to and become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Warner Bros. Discovery.
BT plc will receive £93m from Warner Bros. Discovery, and up to approximately £540m by way of an earn-out from the Joint Venture during the earn-out period, subject to certain conditions being met.
The new joint venture will also enter into a new agreement with Sky, extending beyond 2030, to provide for its distribution of the combined sports content.
BT plc will also enter into a distribution agreement with Warner Bros. Discovery to provide discovery+ to its direct BT TV and BT Sport customers.
At this stage, no changes in pricing have been announced, so subscribers will continue to pay the same to either BT TV or Discovery+, while getting the combined service.
Of course, we may see these numbers change in the future.
By combining BT Sports and Discovery+, the new TV/streaming platform will hold the right to some of the biggest sporting events, including:
- 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
How Can I Watch Discovery+ And BT Sport?
Discovery+ (which will now include both Eurosport and BT Sport) is a streaming-only app, therefore it relies on your broadband connection. It’s available on most 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
You can also sign up via Amazon, as a Prime Video channel – but at this point, it’s unclear whether the BT Sport content will be available on the Prime Video version of Discovery+ as well.
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