July 22, 2022
The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority has approved the BT Group agreement with Warner Bros. Discovery to form a 50/50 joint venture (JV) company that will create a new sports streaming offering for the U.K. and Ireland.
The decision now allows BT and Warner Bros. Discovery to complete the creation of the JV in the coming weeks and for each of their assets to be transferred into the new company. BT Sport and Eurosport U.K. will be brought together to form a sports streaming company with reportedly one of the most extensive portfolios of sports rights in the U.K. and Ireland. Both BT Sport and Eurosport U.K. will initially retain their separate brands and product propositions in the market before being brought together under a single brand in the future.
“Combining the capabilities, portfolios and scale of BT Sport and Eurosport U.K. will be a big win for fans in the U.K. and Ireland, offering a new destination that will feature all the sport they love in one place,” Andrew Georgiou, future board member of the JV and president and managing director of Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe, said in a statement.
The board of directors of the JV will be equally represented between appointees of British Telecommunications plc and Warner Bros. Discovery. The first chairperson to be appointed, nominated by each shareholder on a rotating basis, will be Marc Allera, CEO BT’s consumer division. The new management and delivery of the JV will be led by Georgiou, who will also be a member of its board.
“Today is a huge milestone, as we now look toward day one of the new business, which we hope to be in the coming weeks,” Allera said.