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Discovery Communications on Wednesday unveiled an agreement to acquire full ownership of pan-European sports network Eurosport for $534 million (€491 million) from France’s TF1 Group, which has announced it will exercise a put option on its 49 percent ownership stake as part of the companies’ previous 2012 agreement.
“Discovery Communications is excited to expand and deepen our investment in Eurosport as we continue to strengthen our newest global brand with locally relevant sports rights that create value for fans, advertisers and distributors,” said David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications. “In 2012, we began our investment with a 20 percent stake in Eurosport and increased that investment to 51 percent more than a year ago. Taking full control of Eurosport is the culmination of our commitment to strengthening Eurosport as a premier sports brand and fully integrating this business within Discovery’s unmatched global portfolio.”
“We are delighted by the excellent relationship between Discovery and TF1 since we began our partnership in 2012,” said Nonce Paolini, chairman and CEO of TF1. “After an initial phase of creating value via acquisitions of equity stakes, which accelerated the development of Eurosport and the theme channels, we intend to continue our collaboration in the years ahead.”
Since May 2014, Discovery and Eurosport have acquired more than 7,500 hours of coverage, with more than 3,300 of that live, per year across more than 50 properties, the company said.
The network’s rights include UEFA Champions League, Europa League, Major League Soccer, expanded German Bundesliga soccer, Spanish cycling, Winter Ski Jumping, Wimbledon in Belgium and FIFA Women’s World Cup across Europe. In June, Discovery/Eurosport won the TV and multiplatform rights for the Olympic Games from 2018 to 2024.
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