Following submission to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), BT Group and Warner Bros. Discovery welcomed the decision to approve the BT Group agreement with Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. to form a 50:50 joint venture company that will create a new sports offering for the UK & Ireland.
The CMA’s decision now allows BT and Warner Bros. Discovery to complete the creation of the joint venture in the coming weeks and for each of their assets to be transferred into the new company. BT Sport and Eurosport UK will be brought together to form a sports joint venture for customers, providing the joint venture with one of the most extensive portfolios of sports rights in the UK & Ireland. 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.
“It’s great news that the CMA has approved the new joint venture 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,” said Marc Allera, future Chairman of the joint venture and CEO of BT’s Consumer division.
Andrew Georgiou, future board member of the joint venture and President and Managing Director at Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe, added: “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.”
The Board of Directors of the joint venture will be equally represented between appointees of British Telecommunications and Warner Bros. Discovery. The first Chairperson to be appointed, nominated by each shareholder on a rotating basis, will be Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s Consumer division. The new management and delivery of the joint venture will be led by Andrew Georgiou, President and Managing Director at Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe, who will be a member of its board.