Britain’s BT Group in talks to divest stake in television unit

Platform Industry News: BT - British Telecom in the UK

BT Group Plc is in talks with Amazon.com, Walt Disney Co and Sport streaming company DAZN to divest a stake in its television unit BT Sport, the UK newspaper, The Telegraph has reported.

A British broadcaster is also involved in the discussions and potentially leading the bidding, the report said, citing City sources.

BT, the UK’s biggest broadband and mobile operator, moved into sports broadcasting 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, 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.

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

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

BT Group declined to comment. Amazon and Disney did not respond immediately to a request for comment by journalists at our partner news agency, Reuters.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Automatic translation from English to a growing list of languages via Google AI Cloud Translation. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Anirudh Saligrama in Bengaluru and Paul Sandle in London. Editing by Leslie Adler and Alistair Bell.

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