(Alliance News) - BT Group PLC on Thursday confirmed it is in discussions to potentially sell a stake in its sports broadcasting arm.
The telecommunications firm said it is in discussions with "a number of select strategic partners" in regards to BT Sport. BT is exploring ways to "generate investment, strengthen our sports business, and help take it to the next stage in its growth".
Late Wednesday, the Telegraph reported BT is in discussions to sell a holding in its sports broadcasting arm, with Amazon.com Inc in the running to buy in and increase its foothold in the industry. Walt Disney Co also in the race to buy a stake, the newspaper reported.
BT has appointed investment bankers Lazard and has also held talks with sports streaming service Dazn. According to a Telegraph source, Dazn was "most keen".
BT Sport launched in 2013 and emerged as a serious rival to Sky UK Ltd's Sky Sports. BT Sport snapped up the lucrative television rights to the two premier European football competitions, the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.
For Amazon, it would represent another foray into UK sports broadcasting. Its Prime streaming service broadcasts a handful of English Premier League games every season.
Disney is not as active in UK sports broadcasting as it is in the US, although the BT Sport channels use the ESPN brand under licence. Disney is the majority owner of US sports channel ESPN.
BT shares were 1.6% higher at 162.33 pence each in London on Thursday morning.
By Tom Waite; email@example.com; updated by Eric Cunha; firstname.lastname@example.org
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