BT Group finalised a long-awaited 50:50 joint venture with US media powerhouse Warner Bros. Discovery for its sports business, while announcing its latest results in which it reinstated its full year dividend.

The UK operators stated it had reached a definitive agreement with Warner Bros. Discovery to combine its BT Sport offering with the US company’s Eurosport UK platform, with the tie-up coming more than three months after kicking off exclusive discussions for the move.

BT opted to keep hold of its sport broadcast unig after previously being tipped to leave the field, and stated the agreement with Warner Bros. Discovery was intended to create a premium sport offering in the UK and Ireland.

Warner Bros. Discovery will take over the operating business of BT Sport as a result of the deal.

BT Sport and Eurosport UK will initially retain their separate brands and product propositions in the market before being brought together in the future.

Terms of the deal involve BT receiving £93 million from the US company, and it stands to earn £540 million from the JV subject to certain conditions being met.

BT Consumer CEO Marc Allera said Warner Bros. Discovery was “the perfect partner” to work with to take its sports unit to the next stage of growth.

Q4 numbers
In the company’s earnings statement, BT CEO Philip Jansen noted while the economic outlook remained challenging, it was investing in the future and was confident the company was “on the right track”. As a result, it reinstated its full year 2022 dividend, at 7.7p per share.

Revenue in BT’s fiscal Q4 (to end-March) declined 2.2 per cent year-on-year to £5.2 billion, with profit after tax of £388 million up from £196 million.

On a full year basis, revenue of £20.9 billion was down 2 per cent, reflecting a decline in enterprise and global, but offset by its Openreach and consumer divisions.