Discovery taking controlling stake in Eurosport

Discovery Communications is ramping up its stake in Eurosport International from 20 percent to a controlling interest of 51 percent. (Pictured: Discovery Communications president and CEO David Zaslav)
January 21, 2014

Discovery Communications is ramping up its stake in Eurosport International from 20 percent to a controlling interest of 51 percent.

The move is an extension of the larger strategic partnership first announced between the Silver Spring-based global media company and TF1 Group in France, and accelerates the original agreement by one year.

“Eurosport is one of the strongest, most dynamic sports platforms in the world,” said David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications in a statement. “Over the past year, as we have been working directly with our partners from TF1, it became clear that combining the power of Eurosport’s brands and audience reach with Discovery’s network portfolio, boots on the ground, and country-specific expertise creates an unrivaled and powerful offering for viewers, advertisers and affiliates.

“Today’s announcement underscores Discovery’s strategy to support already strong organic growth with targeted acquisitions and partnerships. This deal will enable our industry-leading International team and its new leader, JB Perrette, to create new value for our business partners by developing and sharing programming across channel brands, and building a stronger and more diversified network portfolio,” he added.

The flagship Eurosport network reaches 133 million homes across 54 countries in 20 languages. Eurosport’s brands and platforms also include: Eurosport 2, which reaches 69 million households across 51 countries; Eurosport HD, available in 32 million homes in 48 countries; Eurosport Asia-Pacific, which reaches 16 countries; and 24-hour news channel Eurosportnews, available in 48 countries.

The agreement is based on an average enterprise valuation for the Eurosport Group of approximately USD$1.2 billion, or €902 million. From that valuation, the value of Eurosport France (€85 million, or approximately $115 million) has been deducted. TF1 is expected to retain its 80% stake in Eurosport France until at least January 1, 2015.

The closing of the deal is subject to regulatory approvals, subject to come in the months ahead.

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.