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BT trying to get rid of sports?


jazzygeofferz
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This article from the guardian turned up in my feed. I know this relates to football rights, but if BT are looking to get shut of its sports side I wonder what it'll mean for Raw, Smackdown and, possibly more importantly, NXT UK. 

https://amp.theguardian.com/football/2022/feb/02/bt-final-stage-premier-league-rights-dazn-discovery

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Apparently NXT UK will be airing in France beginning this month...so even if BT ditch them I guess they can always fall back on leaving it on the Network.

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NXT UK TO START AIRING IN FRANCE

- NXT UK will be airing on French television starting Saturday, February 19 on AB1. The news was announced by AB1 on their social media today. AB1 already has the rights for Raw and Smackdown, airing those shows on Wednesday and Saturday respectively. NXT UK now joins their Saturday line up with Philippe Chereau and Christophe Agius doing the French commentary. The Philippines and the United Kingdom are the only two other countries where NXT UK also airs on television apart from the WWE Network, with TAP Sports airing it in Philippines and BT Sport airing it in the UK.

 

(From the Wrestling-Online Newsletter)

Edited by Kamran
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I can’t see the need for BT Sports without Football. It’s the reason they cost so much to buy. Any service which launches with football rights and loses them disappear. Like Satanta UK, or ESPN UK. Which the demise of those led to BT Sports creation. But without Football drawing people to the service, they don’t survive.

NXT UK is an interesting one. Surely it’s a loss leader and only around for contractual reasons at this point?

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For those who haven’t been following, it’ll be a root and branch sale of the BT Sports business to DAZN - a sports streaming platform (who I used to work for).

They need Premier League, Government, Virgin and Sky approval before it can happen.

Possible outcomes are:

a) it doesn’t happen because one of the above says no.

b) it happens, but DAZN continue to operate the linear BT Sports TV channels as part of the deal to keep the above happy (if there are concerns about migrating everything to OTT)

c) it happens and all the BT Sport properties (UFC, WWE, EPL etc) are suddenly only available on the DAZN app.

I have a suspicion b) is the most likely. In which case, nothing really changes from a viewing experience. But DAZN would prefer c) as running a linear channel is expensive.

There might be some backlash from rightsholders. For example, I don’t think UFC are happy about it - in which case there’s a possibility some companies may try and negotiate their way out.

Edited by d-d-d-dAz
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1 minute ago, d-d-d-dAz said:

Fun time for this discussion… looks like DAZN haven’t been able to get approval.

Likelihood is BT Sport and Discovery will now form a joint venture.

https://news.sky.com/story/bt-in-talks-over-plan-for-bt-sport-to-team-up-with-eurosport-uk-12531576
 

i’m guessing this is more to do with the current linear packages as why they are now the top contender

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As has been said DAZN and Discovery are looking into buying all of it or a partnership with BT.

As important as the deal might be just now, by the time WWE's deal comes up streaming rights will probably be a bigger financial motivator and they can always sell broadcast rights to other networks like they've done with Channel 5's various channels.

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4 minutes ago, Infinity Land said:

like they've done with Channel 5's various channels.

It's Viacom that purchased the rights to those highlight shows for Channel 5, it's just that ratings were so bad they decided to boot them over to Paramount/5Action instead.

Edited by Perry
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Sports rights is a funny one as its an example of plurality being worse for the consumer than a monopoly.

When Sky Sports was the only game in town you only needed one subscription. All splitting the rights did was make it more expensive in that you needed a Setanta/ESPN and now BT Sports sub on top.

Isn't La Liga on Premier Sports these days as well?

The truth is that Premier League (and maybe Champions League) football is the only strong enough brand to hook your pay tv service on.

Sky Sports used to heavily promote WWF alongside the PL at the height of its UK popularity in 1992, but I bet Sky didn't notice a substantial drop in subs when it lost the WWE rights to BT Sports.

Always struck me that Sky probably had the WWF/E for the duration of its 'glory years' and that BT paid over the odds when you consider its popularity today.

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52 minutes ago, d-d-d-dAz said:

Fun time for this discussion… looks like DAZN haven’t been able to get approval.

Likelihood is BT Sport and Discovery will now form a joint venture.

Discovery is the principle backer of GB News, a Nigel Farage-fronted channel pushing Covid disinformation and arguing for refugees to be drowned at sea.

I guess WWE lifers now have a few months to rationalise to themselves why that's OK actually.

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DAZN officially out of the running.

I’m out of the loop now but I’d guess one of the stakeholders I mentioned earlier had an issue with going OTT only (which they should, it’s not a good idea yet), and DAZN pushed back on maintaining linear channels.

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5 hours ago, garynysmon said:

Isn't La Liga on Premier Sports these days as well?

It's on La Liga TV, and is available as part of Premier's package and also separately via Amazon.

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