WWE is now officially working with Warner Bros. Discovery in the UK. WBD is the official AEW TV partner, parent company of TNT and TBS.
WBD and BT Group announced their new Sports Joint Venture in the UK today. The new 50/50 joint venture will combine the assets of BT Sport and Eurosport UK.
As seen below, i was mentioned in a press release that one of the brands to be featured in the line-up is WWE. BT Sport and WWE entered into a multi-year TV partnership back in 2019, and WWE programming in the UK switched to BT Sport in January 2020. This marked the end of WWE’s 30+ year relationship with Sky in the UK.
It was previously speculated that the new WBD – BT deal could mean that WBD will be contractually not allowed to air AEW in the UK because in most, if not all WWE contracts, WWE has a clause that prevents the networks from airing any other pro wrestling promotion on the same station.
It remains to be seen what today’s official announcement will mean for AEW in the UK, but they were not mentioned in the press release along with WWE and other sports brands. AEW is currently available on ITV and FITE for fans in the UK, but there had been some speculation that this could change with the recent WBD merger.
Stay tuned to WrestlingHeadlines.com for more. Below is the full press release issued today:
Warner Bros. Discovery and BT Group close transaction to form Sports Joint Venture
* BT Sport and Eurosport UK assets now transferred into the new combined JV
* BT Sport and Eurosport UK retain separate brands today; will be brought together under a single brand in the future
LONDON, 1 September 2022: Warner Bros. Discovery and BT Group have today completed their transaction to form a 50:50 Joint Venture (JV) that combines the assets of BT Sport and Eurosport UK.
The move brings together one of the most extensive line-ups of live sport coverage for fans in the UK & Ireland – including the Olympic Games, the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, the Premier League, Premiership Rugby, MotoGP, UFC, Boxing, WWE, tennis Grand Slams, cycling Grand Tours and the winter sports World Cup season.
As work begins to develop the new sports offering for the UK & Ireland, BT Sport and Eurosport UK will retain their separate product propositions for a period of time. BT Sport and Eurosport UK customers can continue to enjoy the current sport offerings in all the same ways they do currently.
Over time, the intention is to launch a new sports brand in the market and present this combined sports offering together with an entertainment offering from Warner Bros. Discovery.
Marc Allera, Chairman of the JV and CEO BT’s Consumer division said: “As we enter our ninth season, today is day one of an exciting new chapter for BT Sport. I am extremely proud of the teams and the established brand and broadcaster that BT Sport has become, and I look forward to working with Warner Bros. Discovery to create an exciting new sport TV offering for the UK.”
Andrew Georgiou, board member of the JV and President and Managing Director, Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe, said: “Today marks the start of our journey to build a new sports destination for fans in the U.K and Ireland. Combining BT Sport and Eurosport U.K. together with Warner Bros. Discovery’s world-class and growing entertainment offering will result in an exciting new proposition for consumers.
“It’s important for fans to know they can continue to enjoy BT Sport and Eurosport U.K. as they do today and we’ll keep them updated on future plans as soon as we can. We are pleased the transaction has closed and we can now further engage all stakeholders in the process of establishing the JV and developing its extensive combined sports offer.”
The JV’s Board of Directors is equally represented between appointees of British Telecommunications plc and Warner Bros. Discovery. The first Chairperson, nominated by each shareholder on a rotating basis, is Marc Allera, CEO BT’s Consumer division. Andrew Georgiou, President and Managing Director, Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe, is also a member of the board and will lead the business.