Discovery is reportedly looking to hijack DAZN’s attempt to acquire BT Sport, and is said to be in talks with the broadcaster.
It’s long been rumoured that DAZN wants to buy BT Sport in what some are suggesting could be a £600 million deal.
However, the Telegraph suggests that Discovery has approached BT about a possible joint venture between the two, which would see them pool their respective sports content. It adds that the two partners would aim to make cost savings over time in a deal that would see BT sell out at some point.
According to the report, BT bosses are taking the Discovery idea seriously, after the deal with DAZN became “stuck over commercial deals”.
A spokesperson for BT said, “BT can confirm that discussions are being held with a number of select strategic partners, to explore ways to generate investment, strengthen our sports business, and help take it to the next stage in its growth. These discussions are confidential.”
Analyst Paolo Pescatore tells TVBEurope it’s is an uncertain time not only for BT Sport but the entire BT group which is subject to takeover rumours.
“A tie-up with Discovery could be more attractive for both parties,” he adds. “This potentially feels more like a strategic partnership which will help BT take the sport business to a new level. For Discovery it will very much boost its sports presence, which is gaining momentum thanks to the Olympics and increasing focus on streaming with Discovery Plus.”
Last month, BT’s CEO Philip Jansen said the company was in talks with a “small handful” of companies about a deal. “We could continue to operate it ourselves with a small partnering effort, move to a joint venture and there is the possibility of an outright sale,” he added.
“We have had extensive long discussions but it is complicated. We are in no rush, we want to do the right thing for everyone.”
BT first confirmed it was holding talks around a potential sale of its sports broadcasting arm in April.
- DAZN ‘possibly’ interested in acquiring BT Sport