BT and Warner Bros. Discovery’s plan to combine their UK and Ireland sports channels has been given the go-ahead by regulators.
In a statement the two broadcasters said they would complete the transfer of their respective assets into the joint venture “in the coming weeks”.
The combined entity will hold a rights portfolio that includes the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, the Premier League, Premiership Rugby, UFC, the Olympic Games, tennis Grand Slams featuring the Australian Open and Roland-Garros, cycling Grand Tours including the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia and the winter sports World Cup season.
Both BT Sport and Eurosport UK will initially retain their separate brands and products before being brought together under a single brand in the future.
As part of the deal, customers who access BT Sport through BT directly, and most BT TV customers, will get access to the discovery+ app, which is home to Eurosport’s live and on-demand streaming offer, as part of their existing subscriptions.
Marc Allera, future Chairman of the JV and CEO BT’s Consumer division said: “It’s great news that the CMA has approved the new JV that we are forming with Warner Bros. Discovery, combining the very best of BT Sport and Eurosport UK, to create an exciting new offer for live sport programming in the UK.
“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.”
Andrew Georgiou, future board member of the JV and President and Managing Director, Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe, said: “Combining the capabilities, portfolios and scale of BT Sport and Eurosport UK will be a big win for fans in the UK & Ireland, offering a new destination that will feature all the sport they love in one place.
“We now look forward to closing the transaction and having the opportunity to further engage all stakeholders in the process of forming and developing the JV.”