The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) opened an initial investigation into a BT Group proposal to merge its sports broadcasting business with Warner Bros. Discovery’s Eurosport platform in the country.
Its probe is already underway and will involve the regulator taking an initial look at the floated deal with a deadline of 28 July. At that stage it can either declare there are no issues or open a second phase investigation to make a more detailed assessment into any competition implications.
Seemingly playing down the development, a BT representative noted the CMA “routinely looks at any proposed joint venture of this sort, so this is a normal part of the process”.
After months of speculation about the future of its sport broadcasting unit, BT announced last month it would form a 50:50 joint venture with Warner Bros. Discovery and combine its offering with Eurosport UK.
Should the deal complete with current licences in place, it would be able to provide consumers with coverage of a range of major events including: English Premier League football, European football competitions, WWE wrestling, Premiership Rugby, the Summer and Winter Olympics and tennis Grand Slam events.
Announcing the proposed merger earlier this year BT Consumer CEO Marc Allera said the deal would allow its sports broadcaster to achieve “the next stage of its growth”.