Discovery Communications has teamed up with the MLB’s streaming partner, BAMTech, which also powers the streaming services HBO NOW and PlayStation Vue, to launch a new venture in Europe. Called BAMTech Europe, the technology provider will work with content owners, broadcasters and other over-the-top service providers in the region. The new company’s first client is Discovery-owned Eurosport Digital, which will upgrade its suite of digital products to be powered by BAMTech’s video platform.
Starting next year, Eurosport Digital will roll out the new technology across its sports news website Eurosport.com and its Eurosport Player, a subscription-based streaming platform for sports, that’s live in 52 countries.
The two firms said they’ll also work together to bring premium sports events to more devices, including both current and future rights that BAMTech acquires, as well as join acquisitions for other European sports rights.
Discovery’s portfolio today is known for its brands like Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, Turbo/Velocity, and, in the U.S., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Kids in Latin America, as well as Eurosport.
With its acquisition of Eurosport, the company has its eye on becoming the ESPN of Europe, which is why it makes sense that it’s now teaming up with BAMTech, the streaming technology provider for ESPN’s forthcoming efforts in this space.
Since buying Eurosport, Discovery has bought rights to a number of sports events, including Wimbledon in Belgium, Formula One in Portugal, soccer matches, and even niche events popular in certain countries, like ski jumping in Poland, for example.
The company also bought the European rights to the Olympic Games between 2018-2024 for $1.4 billion- something that Bob Bowman, MLB President, Business & Media, mentioned in today’s announcement.
“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,” noted Bowman. “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,” he said.
Financial terms of the deal were not revealed, but it comes only two months after Disney announced it was acquiring a 33 percent stake in BAMTech for $1 billion, with similar goals in mind. In that case, Disney is largely focused on launching a new multi-sport subscription service from ESPN, the sports network it owns.
Today, BAMTech serves over 7.5 million paid subscribers through its U.S.-based clients, including MLB, the PGA Touch, WWE Network, Ice Network, NHL, HBO NOW, and PlayStation Vue.
Following Eurosport, the new European subsidiary BAMTech Europe gives the company the opportunity bring its technology to the European audience, including other sports, news and entertainment clients.