Discovery is negotiating with BT Sport to hijack sales to DAZN

The American media group Discovery is negotiating a deal with BT Sport, which will hijack the British television network and sell it to sports streaming service DAZN for 600 million pounds.

According to several people familiar with the matter, Discovery, which owns the Eurosport channel, has proposed to establish a joint venture with British Telecom Group BT. This is a new effort that will create a strong player in British sports broadcasting.

BT Sport has the right to broadcast Premier League and UEFA Champions League football matches in the UK, while Discovery has a long-term agreement to broadcast the Olympic Games throughout Europe.

In the past two months, BT executives have begun to consider options for establishing a partnership with Discovery more seriously. Sell ​​its sports channel directly DAZN, owned by billionaire Sir Leonard Blavatnik, has been plagued by commercial details.

According to people familiar with the matter, the BT Sport service is linked to the company’s broadband users, which has led DAZN to require that if they buy sports channels, they must guarantee income. At the same time, BT wants to ensure that its subscribers can continue to access DAZN’s services.

Arguments over these details hindered the deal. A person familiar with the negotiations said that British Telecom plans to decide before the end of the year whether to sell to DAZN or cooperate with Discovery.

The Sunday Telegraph first reported on the joint venture negotiations. British Telecom, Discovery and DAZN declined to comment.

Discovery is also looking for a Multi-billion dollar transactions Take over the WarnerMedia Group currently owned by AT&T. This initiative, led by Discovery CEO David Zaslav (David Zaslav), will create the world’s second largest media company after Disney.

For DAZN, if it fails to acquire BT Sport, the unprofitable company hopes to seek an initial public offering in the next few months, thus becoming an important competitor to the existing media giants.

Kevin Mayer, the new chairman of DAZN, is an advisor to Discovery. A person close to the company said that the two sides have held discussions to ensure that Mayer’s various roles do not have conflicts of interest.

After investing more than £2 billion to compete with the media companies now owned by Comcast, BT proved to be the strongest competitor in the UK sports broadcasting sector.

Its strategy is to establish a viable sports business alongside its TV services, while also protecting its core broadband foundation against Sky, which has always provided free broadband to sports users.

In recent years, BT has been seeking to reduce the financial burden of the sports business. Under the leadership of Marc Allera, CEO of BT Consumer Division, the division has transformed a division that lost 400 million pounds a year in its infancy For a business that has achieved break-even, and almost achieved break-even. 2 million subscribers.

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