BT may sell stake in sports broadcasting business

BT Group has initiated in talks with Amazon.com, Walt Disney and sport streaming company DAZN to divest a stake in its television unit BT Sport, The Telegraph reported.
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BT, Britain’s biggest broadband and mobile operator, started sports broadcasting business in 2012 when it won the rights to show a package of live Premier League soccer matches.

Its current package, which cost 885 million pounds ($1.23 billion), allows to show 32 matches for three seasons from 2019-20. It also has the rights to show Champions League soccer until 2024 under a three-year 1.2 billion pound deal.

The Premier League would in normal circumstances have auctioned the next packages of domestic rights by now, but the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the timetable.

The Telegraph reported that the Premier League is seeking government approval to roll over the current deals, which also included Amazon.

BT, under Chief Executive Philip Jansen, is focused on its plan to rollout fibre broadband to 20 million homes and businesses this decade.

BT today said it can confirm that early discussions are being held with a number of partners, to explore ways to generate investment, strengthen 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.

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