Apr 28, 2021

BT looks at potential sale of sport business

BT has opened talks with a number of potential investors as it considers a sale of its sports broadcasting operation, looking to focus on its core broadband and telephony business and blow the whistle on the content business. BT has reduced operating costs at BT Sport in recent years and the unit breaks even within the BT Consumer division but the telecoms company has decided to consider options for the media business as it looks to focus on fibre investment and building its 5G network. BT Sport could be a valuable asset for a media company looking to acquire an established presence in the UK market, including studios and millions of existing customers. BT has spent billions establishing itself in the broadcasting market as it transformed BT Sport into the second largest player in the UK by winning the rights to Premier League football games, rugby union and niche sports including Australian Rules Football and UFC fighting. The push into sports was a key pillar of Gavin Patterson's growth strategy when he was chief executive but the media business has become less prominent since Philip Jansen took over, with BT's consumer business less willing to overpay for sports rights and the company focused on expanding its full-fibre network.

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