Facebook hires Eurosport CEO to lead sports licensing efforts

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Facebook has lured away Peter Hutton, CEO of Discovery-owned Eurosport, to head up its live sports licensing rights efforts.

According to The Guardian, Hutton will join Facebook only after Eurosport has concluded its coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

While at Eurosport, Hutton helped the company secure a deal to broadcast the Olympics across Europe in a transaction valued at nearly $1.3 billion.

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Facebook is reportedly building a fairly large war chest to go after streaming sports rights and looking to hire an executive to go out and find those streaming deals.

According to Sports Business Journal, Facebook is setting aside a “few billion dollars” for global sports streaming rights.

As Recode points out, a multibillion-dollar commitment to streaming sports might not stretch that far considering the length of contract and costs per year some media companies pay for sports rights. DirecTV, for instance, renewed its Sunday Ticket deal with the NFL for $1.5 billion per year until 2022.

But Facebook has shown recently that it’s willing to drop significant amounts of money on sports streaming rights. The social media company reportedly bid about $600 million for five years of streaming rights to Indian Premier League games. It lost out to 21st Century Fox-owned Star India, which paid $2.5 billion for broadcast and streaming rights combined.

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