Zaslav: Eurosport is Discovery’s ‘Sports Netflix’

Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav sees big potential in its latest entry in the direct-to-consumer business, calling the programmer's Eurosport Player offering the international sporting world's answer to Netflix.

Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference Thursday, Zaslav called the DTC offering, the “Sports Netflix,” adding that it already has about 200,000 subscribers at $8 per month. With a potential market of 700 million residents in Europe, Eurosport’s direct-to-consumer opportunities are boundless.

Discovery has the European rights to the Olympic Games from 2018 to 2024 and owns a number of rights for other sports like skiing, skating and cycling in several other countries which it shows on its three Eurosport channels. But not all of that content can be aired on the networks. That’s where the direct-to-consumer offering could come in.

“If we can build that direct-to-consumer business for $8 per subscriber, we’re in a whole different game, and it’s a meaningful game,” Zaslav said. “For us, Eurosport direct-to-consumer fills the full circle.”

That strategy is similar to one ESPN is planning with BAMTech. At the Goldman conference Tuesday, Disney chief Bob Iger said that direct-to-consumer offering could allow subscribers to purchase specific seasons, teams or dates.