(Cybertech) – BT is in talks with other companies about a potential sale of its BT Sport broadcasting arm.
Reports emerged yesterday that the British telecoms firm is interested in either selling BT Sport outright or going into partnership with investors to help finance it.
This has been subsequently confirmed by BT in a statement: “BT can confirm that early discussions are being held with a number of select strategic partners, to explore ways to generate investment, strengthen our sports business, and help take it to the next stage in its growth,” it said.
Two potential suitors are Amazon and Disney. Both have allegedly held initial talks with BT.
Amazon has, in the last two years, entered into the live sports business in the UK, securing rights to Premier League football matches and tennis. It also shows live rugby matches and other sports outside the UK.
The Walt Disney Company is perhaps an even more likely destination, having already worked with BT Sport since its inception. BT Sport licences the ESPN brand from Disney for one of its channels.
If it could secure an acquisition outright, it wouldn’t be a massive surprise if it didn’t rebrand BT Sport entirely, to match its ESPN strategy in the States.
Other companies claimed to be in talks include Dazn, a US over-the-top sports streaming service that also launched in the UK last December, and private equity firms.
Writing by Rik Henderson.