BT Signs Sports Deal With Warner Bros Discovery As Profits Soar

BT Group has agreed to form a new sports joint venture with Warner Bros Discovery in the UK and Ireland.

As part of the deal, BT will receive £93m from Warner Bros and up to £540m from the joint venture, if certain conditions are met.

The 50:50 joint venture will bring together BT Sports and Eurosport.

It should, in theory, enhance BT Sport’s content immediately and strengthen the business by bidding on content such as UEFA Champions League rights in the future.

It’s a deal: BT Group has agreed to form a new sports joint venture with Warner Bros Discovery in the UK and Ireland.

BT has also signed a long-term deal with Sky to share content, the latest sign of how the two former fierce rivals are increasingly working together.

BT boss Philip Jansen said: “We have finalized the sports joint venture with Warner Bros. Discovery to enhance our content offering to customers, aligning our business with a new global content powerhouse.”

Telecoms giant BT also announced today a final dividend of 5.39 pa per share, bringing the total dividend for the year to 7.7p to share.

BT’s Adjusted EBITDA rose 2% to £7.6bn, while pre-tax profit rose 9%.

However, the telecoms giant saw its annual revenue fall by 2 per cent to £20.9bn as supply chain issues and a protracted recovery from Covid-19 weighed on its revenue. The £20.9bn was lower than analyst forecasts of around £21.4bn.

BT said trading was “on the right track” despite a drop in revenue last year.

The company has increased its cost savings target to £2.5bn by the end of fiscal 2025, after generating £1.5bn worth of savings in the last 12 months.

In charge: Philip Jansen is the head of BT Group

BT said customer complaints about BT-branded broadband service fell by 50 per cent year on year.

He added: ‘For the first time, all BT brands generated complaint rates below or equal to the industry average across fixed lines, broadband and mobile, according to the latest Ofcom complaint data.

EE continues to have the same proportionally lower volume of complaints for mobile.’

The group said it had about 800,000 customers on “Home Essentials” and other discounted or subsidized rates.

Jansen said: ‘BT Group has once again delivered a strong operating performance thanks to the efforts of our colleagues across the company. Openreach continues to grow like a rage, having surpassed 7.2 million locations with 1.8 million connections; a strong and growing early acceptance rate of 25 percent.

“Meanwhile, our 5G network now covers more than 50 per cent of the UK population. We have the best networks in the UK and continue to invest at an unprecedented rate to bring unrivaled connectivity to our customers. At the same time, we are seeing record customer satisfaction scores across the business.

He added: “Our modernization continues apace and we are extending our cost savings target from £2bn by the end of FY24 to £2.5bn by the end of FY25.”

Looking ahead, Jansen said: “While the economic outlook remains challenging, we continue to invest for the future and I am confident that BT Group is on the right track.” As a result, we are today reconfirming our outlook for FY23 revenue growth, EBITDA of at least £7.9bn and also reinstating our FY22 annual dividend, as promised, at 7.7 pence per share. ”.

BT shares It rose in morning trading and is currently up 3.75 pence or 2.13 percent at 180.20 pence. A year ago, the group’s share price was 169.05, having risen about 6 percent in the past year.

John Moore, senior investment manager at Brewin Dolphin, said: ‘BT has been through a very challenging period, but today’s results tentatively suggest there are signs of brighter times for shareholders.

“The joint venture with Warner Bros Discovery is a potentially exciting development in a highly competitive market and continues to differentiate BT’s entertainment offering.

‘Meanwhile, the strong performance of Openreach and the reinstatement of the dividend, despite the expected drop in revenue, are also positive. Overall, there is room for optimism, but BT’s capex commitments are likely to remain a headwind in the coming months.”

City Index Market Analyst Joshua Warner said: “Rollout is accelerating but BT Group has a long way to go before its converged network offering faster connectivity is fully released across the UK. “.

Keith Bowman, investment analyst at Interactive Investor, said: ‘Overall the competitive environment remains intense, with rivals such as Sky competing hard to win broadband services.

‘Shareholder returns are also not what they once received due to heavy investment in network expansion. The cost-of-living crisis could also force some customers to cut back on non-essential purchases and subscriptions, which could include BT’s pay-TV sports service.

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