We officially have a new major sporting broadcaster in the UK as the joint venture of Eurosport and BT Sport has been approved.
Last Friday, it was announced that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) gave the green light for the BT Group and Warner Bros. Discovery to form their 50:50 JV company to offer a new sports broadcasting in the UK & Ireland.
In a statement, the creation of the JV will take place over the coming weeks as both BT and Eurosport start moving assets into the new company. However, if we know anything of Discovery’s merger with WarnerMedia, WBD’s CEO David Zaslav will be making moves now to make it as competitive as possible.
The axe of Zaslav is about to shed more blood with cuts.
The statement reveals: “Both BT Sport and Eurosport UK will initially retain their separate brands and product propositions in the market before being brought together under a single brand in the future.”
I’m sure this will be true of both companies’ apps as they’ll have to find a way to embed the streaming service Discovery+ and the BT Sport app. So audiences can watch live Premier League or MotoGP and the Home network under one.
Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s consumer division, will be chairman of the JV. Whilst the joint venture will be led by Andrew Georgiou, president and managing director of Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe, and both will be members of the board.
While this will be true at the beginning, I could see slow will be BT stepping away from the broadcasting world to return to being a telecoms company but still members of the Board of Directors and WBD becoming the sole owner.
For this reason, I believe the smartest move when naming the new company should be called Discovery Sports. It’s a nice, clean name with plenty of branding opportunities and much better than my original idea of a BT Eurosport.