Discovery Communications Puts Finishing Touches On Eurosport Takeover
Discovery Communicatons said Friday that "it has completed its acquisition of a controlling interest in international sports programmer Eurosport," according to Mike Farrell of MULTICHANNEL. The deal, which was announced in January, increases Discovery’s stake in the programmer from 20% to 51%. Discovery had originally purchased the 20% interest in '12. With the addition of Eurosport’s six pay-TV brands, Eurosport, Eurosport HD, Eurosport 2, Eurosport 2 HD, Eurosport Asia-Pacific and Eurosportnews, Discovery Communications "now operates more than 210 worldwide TV networks reaching 2.7 billion cumulative subscribers." Discovery said that "it intends to make long-term strategic decisions and targeted investments to strengthen and expand Eurosport’s sports programming and services to help boost its audience and reach." As part of that effort, Discovery "will be working with Eurosport management and employees on a long-term business plan that fully optimizes Eurosport’s channels as part of Discovery’s suite of global networks" (MULTICHANNEL, 5/30). In L.A., Scott Roxborough reported Discovery "acquired the Eurosport shares from French network TF1." As part of the deal, TF1 "will have a put option to sell its remaining 49 percent stake in Eurosport to Discovery." The French group, however, "is expected to retain" its 80% share in local operation Eurosport France until at least Jan. 1 (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 5/30).