Discovery Communications has agreed to acquire full ownership of Eurosport, paying TFI Group €491 million for a 49% stake in the sports broadcaster.
Commenting on the development, David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications, said: “Discovery Communications is excited to expand and deepen our investment in Eurosport as we continue to strengthen our newest global brand with locally relevant sports rights that create value for fans, advertisers and distributors.
“In 2012, we began our investment with a 20% stake in Eurosport and increased that investment to 51% more than a year ago. Taking full control of Eurosport is the culmination of our commitment to strengthening Eurosport as a premier sports brand and fully integrating this business within Discovery’s unmatched global portfolio. I would like to thank TF1 for being great partners to us on this journey for the past few years.”
Nonce Paolini, chairman and CEO of TF1, added: “We are delighted by the excellent relationship between Discovery and TF1 since we began our partnership in 2012.
“After an initial phase of creating value via acquisitions of equity stakes, which accelerated the development of Eurosport and the theme channels, we intend to continue our collaboration in the years ahead.”
The agreement also includes a provision for TF1 to buy back Discovery’s 20% interest in TV Breizh, Histoire, and Ushuaïa TV for €15 million, with both transactions expected to close at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
Discovery and Eurosport have acquired more than 7,500 hours of coverage, over 3,300 of it live, since May 2014.
In June, they won the TV and multiplatform rights for the Olympic Games from 2018 to 2024.