BT’s protracted £600 million sale of its sports channels to streaming service DAZN could be off after it emerged the telco was in separate talks with Discovery.
The US broadcaster, which already operates the Eurosport channels, has offered to create a joint venture with the telco.
BT Sport has rights to Premier League, Champions League and Ashes cricket, while Discovery holds a long-term agreement to show the Olympic Games in Europe.
The Telegraph, which first reported the story, says BT has become interested in Discovery’s approach after talks with Sir Leonard Blavatnik’s DAZN began to flounder over commercial deals. From the outset, BT has bundled BT Sport with its broadband service, which led DAZN to seek assurances on revenues.
It’s understood that a decision on whether to make an outright sale of BT Sport or to partner with Discovery will be made by the end of the year.
In the UK, DAZN is largely known for its boxing coverage, and the acquisition of BT Sport would bring considerable opportunity, and sports rights, to the unprofitable broadcaster.
BT, while becoming a thorn in the side of Sky in rights acquisition, now makes its channels available on the rival platform. However, the telco’s emphasis is clearly on broadband rather than its TV business.