Television

Discovery, BAMTech partnership to deliver world-class tech to content owners

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MUMBAI: Discovery Communications and BAMTech have announced a long-term partnership, including the formation of BAMTech Europe, a new digital technology provider, dedicated to working with content owners, broadcasters and OTT platforms to enhance their digital capabilities, reach and performance across Europe. As part of the partnership, Eurosport Digital will become the new entity’s first client, and gain access to select European sports rights from worldwide sports properties, including current and future rights acquired by BAMTech and jointly by Eurosport and BAMTech.

BAMTech Europe will be formed through a joint venture between Discovery Communications and BAMTech LLC, a subsidiary of Major League Baseball’s digital business, MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM). This new venture will represent BAMTech’s expansion in Europe and will provide world-class digital technology services to a broad set of sports, news and entertainment clients in Europe. BAMTech has successfully designed, developed and delivered direct-to-consumer streaming services over the past 14 years, currently serving 7.5 million total global paid subscribers with its U.S.-based clients’ OTT products. With hundreds of millions of mobile data subscribers and growing OTT momentum via connected TVs and other devices, Europe provides a significant strategic opportunity to bring together BAMTech’s world-class technology and Discovery’s deep presence and relationships across the continent.

Eurosport Digital is the first partner for BAMTech Europe through a long-term digital services agreement. BAMTech’s state-of-the-art back-end video platform and services will be implemented in 2017 across all of Eurosport Digital’s products, which today include Eurosport.com – the continent’s number one sports news website, and Eurosport Player – the leading subscription-based OTT sports platform across Europe giving fans an all-access pass anytime and on any device in 52 countries.

In addition, 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.

“Discovery has been investing internationally in new business models and brands for decades, resulting in the most extensive global footprint in media,” said Discovery Communications president and CEO David Zaslav. “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.”

“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 MLB president, business & media Bob 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. We can’t wait to get started.”

“Across Europe, Discovery has led the way in pay-TV and free-to-air services, and expanded into new content genres such as general entertainment and sports,” said Discovery Networks International president and CEO JB Perrette. “This partnership with BAMTech is an important next step in our evolution to develop more consumer centric capabilities and services – focused initially on Eurosport.”

Discovery’s partnership with BAMTech follows the recent appointment of Ralph Rivera as the managing director of Eurosport Digital. Rivera previously spent six years at the BBC as Director of Future Media, where he was responsible for all of the BBC’s digital media services, leading the implementation and operation of BBC iPlayer as it grew by over 300% and delivering the first truly digital Olympic Games for London 2012, which set a new standard for live sports coverage online.

Additionally, the announcement comes less than two weeks after Discovery announced its groundbreaking digital content partnership to form Group Nine Media, which immediately became one of the largest digital content and social video companies in the world.

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