Discovery Communications Buys Eurosport France

David Zaslav

Discovery Communications boss David Zaslav made $49.9 million in 2012, slightly below the $52.4 million that he had earned in 2011. But that was enough to see him yet again rank just behind Moonves in terms of compensation for bosses of big entertainment companies. The year-over-year drop was due to changes in the value of his stock options, even as the company’s shares rose more than 50 percent last year.

Discovery has acquired a majority stake in the French sports network from France's TF1.

Discovery Communication has completed its deal to take majority control of Eurosport France, boosting its share in the sports network from 20 percent to 51 percent.

The deal, announced March 31, is part of a broader move by Discovery to consolidate its interests in Eurosport, Europe's leading sports entertainment group. When Discovery last year acquired a controlling stake in Eurosport International from French network TF1, the deal did not include local operation Eurosport France. TF1 is now selling Discovery a majority stake in Eurosport's French operations as well. 

The deal values Eurosport France at around $91 million (€85 million) and Eurosport International, including French operations, at $966 million (€900 million).

"I am more excited than ever about Eurosport. Bringing the French business and its talented employees back into the larger organization illustrates Discovery’s commitment to building on the success of this great brand,” said Discovery Communications president and CEO David Zaslav in a statement.

Since closing the Eurosport deal last year, Discovery has been stocking up on sports rights, acquiring rights packages in Europe for U.S. Major League Soccer, the Moto GP motorcycling championships, various winter sports and this summer's FIFA Women's World Cup.

Eurosport International operates six all-sports pay TV channels across the continent. TF1 has a put option to sell its remaining 41 percent stake in Eurosport to Discovery Communications to give Discovery full control of Eurosport.