Confirming a move it says strengthens its position as the world’s leading pay-TV programmer by expanding into sports programming, Discovery Communications has announced the completion of its acquisition of a controlling interest in Eurosport International, Europe’s leading sports entertainment group. Discovery increased its interest in Eurosport to 51 per cent from 20 per cent as part of a larger strategic partnership with TF1 Group that began in December 2012.
Discovery was one of the first US media companies to launch channels in Europe in 1989 and has invested steadily and significantly in its international business for 25 years. With the addition of Eurosport’s six pay-TV brands, Eurosport, Eurosport HD, Eurosport 2, Eurosport 2 HD, Eurosport Asia-Pacific and Eurosportnews, Discovery Communications now operates more than 210 worldwide TV networks reaching 2.7 billion cumulative subscribers.
“Today is an exciting day for Discovery Communications and our leadership as the number one pay-TV programmer in the world. Eurosport is a perfect strategic fit for growing market share, strengthening relationships with advertisers and affiliates, and bringing ‘must have’ content to passionate viewers across the globe,” said David Zaslav, President and CEO of Discovery Communications. “By combining Eurosport’s popular sports programming with Discovery’s global brands and local expertise, we will continue to capitalize on the international growth of pay-TV and create long-term value for our shareholders.”