LONDON — Discovery Communications is to acquire full ownership of Eurosport, the sports channels TV network that operates across Europe and Asia. Discovery is buying TF1 Group’s 49% stake for €491 million ($535 million).
Discovery took a 20% stake in Eurosport in 2012, and upped its investment to 51% last year.
“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,” said David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery. “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.”
Since May 2014, Discovery and Eurosport have acquired more than 7,500 hours of coverage — with more than 3,300 of that live — per year, Discovery said in a statement. In June, Discovery/Eurosport won the TV and multiplatform rights for the Olympic Games from 2018 to 2024.
Today’s agreement also includes a provision for TF1 to buy back Discovery’s 20% interest in TV Breizh, Histoire, and Ushuaïa TV for €15 million. Both transactions are expected to close at the beginning of the fourth quarter.