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BT explore possible sale of sports broadcasting arm

BT has confirmed reports that it is in talks with a host of strategic partners over the potential sale of BT Sport.

BT explore possible sale of sports broadcasting arm

BT is working with investment bank Lazard in order to seek sale opportunities for the pay-television broadcaster, according to reports.

BT Sport holds rights to some of the English Premier League football matches, which has been reported to scrap its media rights auction in order to split its £4.7 billion deal between BT Sport, Sky Sports and Amazon.

BT Sport also holds the rights to the UEFA Champions League, Premiership Rugby and Moto GP, amongst others.

So far it has been reported that Amazon, Disney, sports streaming service DAZN and an unknown British broadcaster are in talks about negotiating an agreement for BT Sport.

An unknown source told The Telegraph that DAZN, which are owned by Sir Leonard Blavatnik, are the “most keen” to seal a deal.

On April 29, BT issued a statement saying: “Further to media reports, BT can confirm that early discussions are being held with a number of select strategic partners, to explore ways to generate investment, strengthen our sports business, and help take it to the next stage in its growth. The discussions are confidential and may or may not lead to an outcome.”

Back in 2018, Philip Jansen took Gavin Patterson’s place as chief executive at BT with the BT’s chairman Jan Du Plessis reporting that now they might start looking into focusing on the core broadband and telephony business rather than the sports’ rights strategy.

The company is in the process of launching the 5G mobile network in the UK with a project that’s costs over billions, while they are investing £12.5 billion in upgrading the UK’s internet network to next-generation full-fibre broadband.

Author: Catherine Micallef