Discovery Forms Venture With BAMTech in Europe

Discovery and BAMTech, the digital technology division of Major League Baseball’s MLB Advanced Media, said they formed a joint venture in Europe.

The new company, BAMTech Europe, will provide content owners and over-the-top platforms with digital capabilities. Discovery’s Eurosport will become BAMTech Europe’s first client and will gain access to some European sports rights acquired by BAMTech.

In the U.S., the Walt Disney Co. has invested $1 billion in BAMTech, which will be creating ESPN-branded streaming services.

“Discovery has been investing internationally in new business models and brands for decades, resulting in the most extensive global footprint in media,” said David Zaslav, president and chief executive officer at Discovery Communications. “The formation of this world-class technology provider, BAMTech Europe, with our partners at BAMTech, accelerates Discovery’s long-term strategy to bring our premium content to more viewers across more screens than ever before.”

Discovery has been making increased investments in sports rights since acquiring Eurosport. Most prominently it acquired the rights to the Olympics in Europe. It has also been building a variety over-the-top and subscription services using its sports rights.

Eurosport and BAMTech will work together to make premium sports events more widely available across multiple screens. This will include current and future rights acquired by BAMTech as well as joint acquisitions for other compelling European sports rights, from across the globe, for Eurosport’s digital platform, the companies said.

“The collaboration of Discovery’s breadth of live sports content, including the Olympic Games, and BAMTech will bring European fans access to these valuable events like never before,” said Bob Bowman, MLB president, business & media. “Discovery has been a global leader in media and will be a great partner in expanding BAMTech to Europe, with an eye to developing new models for delivering content in the best interests of customers. We can’t wait to get started.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.