Play Sports Group joins Discovery to form ‘unique’ global cycling platform

Discovery has announced the purchase of a 71 per cent controlling stake in Play Sports Group.

The investment sees Play Sports Group, which also includes cycling media agency Shift Active Media, become a subsidiary of Discovery.

Simon Wear, founder and CEO of Play Sports Group, said: “I am tremendously proud and excited for Play Sports Group to join the Discovery family.

“As a fan and community-focused business, we could not be more perfectly aligned with Discovery’s deep-rooted history in serving passionate, specialist audiences with super high-quality content.

“Since the Discovery investment in PSG in February 2017 we have worked progressively more closely with JB Perrette and his team, and during this time it has become increasingly clear that we share a vision of innovative, direct-to-consumer business.

“The combination of Discovery and Eurosport’s leading package of cycling rights, its resources, infrastructure and company vision with Play Sports Group’s massive community of cycling fans means we have a phenomenal package.

“The opportunity to build a world-class digital destination, in multiple languages, for cycling fans the world over is one that’s just too good to miss.”

JB Perrette, president and CEO at Discovery Networks International, said: “This is a hugely important investment that aligns fully with Discovery’s broader strategy of super-serving passionate fans across screens with valuable demographics and growth potential.

“This deal underpins Discovery’s principle sport focus of owning verticals, allowing us to offer fans the best possible experience and immerse them fully in the sports they follow every day.”

Peter Faricy, CEO, global direct to consumer at Discovery Inc., said: “Our partnership with Play Sports Group accelerates our global direct-to-consumer sports strategy and gives us an unprecedented opportunity to create a single global cycling destination for fans around the world.

“Discovery and Play Sports Group share a consumer-obsessed philosophy centred on a deep understanding of super-fans and creating content that inspires, informs and entertains, taking them closer to the sports they love.

“We know the value Play Sports Group bring to our portfolio and we’re excited by the possibility of building a 360-degree proposition that combines the strength of their digital-first, fan-centric content, alongside Eurosport’s premium live broadcasting rights and existing direct-to-consumer platforms.”

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