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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Discovery May Snag BT Sport from DAZN

  • Discovery could form a partnership with BT Sport.
  • DAZN is also in advanced talks with BT, but those have hit an impasse.
BT Sport/Design: Alex Brooks

With talks between DAZN and BT Sport reportedly at an impasse, Discovery may swoop in.

British telecommunications firm BT, which is looking to sell its sports broadcasting segment, had seemed to find a match in sports streamer DAZN, which wants in on the UK market, particularly the Premier League.

The two sides are reportedly in talks on a $795.2 million sale of BT Sport to DAZN.

However, BT Sport is currently offered as an add-on to BT’s broadband service, an arrangement which BT would like to maintain. DAZN wants revenue assurances baked into any pact with BT.

The conflict has created an opening for U.S.-based Discovery, which has proposed a joint venture with BT. Discovery had over 20 million streaming subscribers as of Sept. 30.

  • Discovery owns the Eurosport channels and holds rights to the Olympics across Europe.
  • In May, the Premier League rolled over its existing media deals with BT, Sky, Amazon, and BBC, locking in those broadcasters from 2022 to 2025 with deals collectively worth around $7 billion.
  • BT Sport’s consumer base has fallen by more than half from 3.5 million subscribers in 2016 to 1.6 million, according to an April report.

BT reportedly hopes to make a decision on the two offers by the end of the year.

Discovery’s $43 billion merger with WarnerMedia is expected to close mid-2022. On Monday, over 30 Democratic members of Congress wrote a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland expressing antitrust concerns over the deal.

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