Media And Entertainment
Sports streaming service DAZN is closing in on a deal to acquire British BT Sport in an estimated $800 million transaction.
The deal will give DAZN access to sought-after rights to UEFA Champions League and English Premier Leaguematches, sources close to the matter reported.
The sources reported that the deal is expected to be finalized as soon as this month, after protracted negotiations that became public last fall. They also added, the transaction was still volatile and could fall apart.
The American media company, which already owns the pan-European sports network Eurosport, offered to form a partnership with BT, an offer the telecoms company was considering as an alternative to a sale. The UK’s Sunday Telegraph first reported the partnership talks.
The major obstacle has been acquiring agreements with rights holders and Virgin Media and Comcast’s Corp’s Sky, which distribute BT Sport’s network in the UK and Ireland. Discovery Network is still in discussions with BT Sport, though DAZN is viewed as the leading runner at the moment.
Acquiring BT Sport would expand DAZN’s reach in the UK and neighboring Ireland. Live sporting events worldwide attract huge audiences, and TV providers and streaming services are willing to pay immense amounts of money to carry games. In the U.S., the National Football League (NFL) recently signed right deals with Fox, NBC, CBS, ESPN, and Amazon, collectively valued at $100 billion over the next 11 years.
DAZN reportedly has over 11 million subscribers.According to Enders Analysis, BT Sport has around 5 million total viewing households.