Discovery, MLB BAMTech form joint partnership in Europe

Discovery Communications and BAMTech today formed a “long-term” partnership geared toward working with content owners, broadcasters and OTT in Europe, through a new provider called BAMTech Europe.

Discovery’s Eurosport Digital will be the first client for the new division and the deal will give the operation access to select European sports rights, including the current and future rights held by BAMTech. BAMTech’s back-end video platform and services will be implemented in 2017 across all of Eurosport Digital’s products, including Eurosport.com and Eurosport Player, Discovery’s subscription-based OTT sports platform across Europe.

“The collaboration of Discovery’s breadth of live sports content, including the Olympic Games, and BAMTech will bring European fans access to these valuable events like never before,” said Bob Bowman, MLB president of Business & Media, in a statement. “Discovery has been a global leader in media and will be a great partner in expanding BAMTech to Europe, with an eye to developing new models for delivering content in the best interests of customers. We can’t wait to get started.”

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On Discovery’s earnings call today, CEO David Zaslav broke the news of the partnership and said that Discovery will maintain 100 percent ownership of Eurosport.

Zaslav also pointed toward the opportunity in Europe, saying that the partnership would only have to attract 1 percent of the European population in order to hit 7 million subscribers.

“Europe is the most important continent for sports growth,” said Zaslav.

The BAMTech comes after in September Discovery appointed Ralph Rivera, former director of future media at BBC, as Managing Director of Eurosport Digital. The announcement also comes less than two weeks after Discovery unveiled a $100 million investment into a digital content partnership forming Group Nine Media.

Of course, BAMTech recently made news after Disney announced it was spending $1 billion to take a 33 percent stake in the platform.

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