BT Sport, the sports broadcast division of British telecommunications giant BT Group, could be sold to a U.S.-based media company.
According to BT, discussions are being held with “select strategic partners.” Joint ventures, partnerships, full disposals, and stake sales are all potential options. Multinational investment bank Lazard is advising the process.
Possible bidders for BT Sport, per Telegraph:
BT Group’s stock reached its highest price in over a year on the London Stock Exchange today. The company has been moving away from sports to focus on fiber optic internet, 5G networks, and the suite of apps available through its BT TV service.
The group faced backlash in 2012 when it outbid the U.K.’s popular sports broadcaster Sky for Premier League soccer. BT Sport launched a year later.
“Should BT get the opportunity to make a profitable exit from a business they entered in 2012 that has absorbed 9 billion pounds ($12.6 billion) of rights costs, they should go for it,” media analyst Claire Enders told Bloomberg.
BT’s sports division offers subscription packages for a range of leagues and events, from Premier League and UFC to MotoGP.