HomeNewsOlympic GamesAsia

Discovery takes full control of Eurosport

US media and entertainment company Discovery Communications has said it will take full ownership of pan-regional sports broadcaster Eurosport through a €491m ($541m) deal with French commercial broadcaster TF1 Group.

Discovery’s announcement yesterday (Wednesday) came after it completed its acquisition of a controlling interest in Eurosport in June 2014. Discovery increased its stake in Eurosport from 20 per cent to 51 per cent as part of the deal, which was originally struck with the latter’s parent company, TF1, in December 2012.

TF1 retained the ability to sell its remaining 49-per-cent stake in Eurosport to Discovery – an option that has now been activated. “Discovery Communications is excited to expand and deepen our investment in Eurosport as we continue to strengthen our newest global brand with locally relevant sports rights that create value for fans, advertisers and distributors,” David Zaslav, president and chief executive of Discovery Communications, said.

“In 2012, we began our investment with a 20 per cent stake in Eurosport and increased that investment to 51 per cent more than a year ago. Taking full control of Eurosport is the culmination of our commitment to strengthening Eurosport as a premier sports brand and fully integrating this business within Discovery’s unmatched global portfolio.”

Since May 2014, Discovery and Eurosport have acquired more than 7,500 hours of coverage – with more than 3,300 of that live – per year across more than 50 properties signed. This rights drive was headlined last month by the acquisition of television and multi-platform rights in a host of European markets for four editions of the Olympic Games, from 2018 to 2024, in a deal valued at €1.3bn.

Discovery acquired the exclusive rights across all platforms, including free-to-air television, subscription/pay-television, internet and mobile phone in all languages across 50 countries and territories on the European continent. Russia was excluded from the agreement, while the deal applies to the 2022 and 2024 Games only in France and the UK.

Discovery’s deal for full ownership of Eurosport is expected to close at the beginning of the fourth quarter.