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Discovery plans global cycling platform with Play Sports Group takeover

Discovery has unveiled plans to create “the number one cycling media ecosystem in the world” after taking a controlling stake in digital sports media company Play Sports Group.

The deal will see Discovery increase its existing investment in Play Sports Group to 71%, underpinning plans to combine the reach of cycling content and community platforms such as Global Cycling Network, Global Mountain Bike Network and Global Triathlon Network with Discovery’s position as a leading cycling broadcast rightsholder in Europe.

COPA90 hires Smith as first Women's Game lead

Former New Zealand international footballer Rebecca Smith has been appointed as COPA90’s first Global Executive Director of the Women’s Game.

In her new position with the youth media football brand, the former FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year nominee is to be tasked with integrating women’s football across the whole of COPA90’s business.

The 37-year-old, a former FIFA Manager of Competitions and Events and Strategic Planning for Women’s Football, will work with major global brands and initiate a worldwide network of stakeholders in the game.

Twitter launches new FA Cup bot product 

The Football Association (The FA) has announced a partnership with Twitter, which will see international football fans receive unprecedented access to key moments from this season’s Emirates FA Cup.

Fans in more than 10 worldwide markets outside of the UK will be able to register to receive in-game clips via a Twitter direct message (DM) bot from Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur fixtures, from the Third Round of the competition onwards.

Eleven renegotiating rights in ‘hostile’ UK market

Eleven Sports has briefed media that it is in discussions to secure the future of its UK OTT service, following the collapse of its UFC rights deal.

The global provider entered the UK this summer, hoping to replicate the success of its “platform agnostic” model in other territories.

Its strategy is based on securing additional carriage agreements with major broadcasters to supplement its own subscription-based streaming platform.

BT Sport adds Formula E rights

BT Sport has secured live rights to the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, beginning with Season Five, which gets underway on 15th December in Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia.

The agreement adds to BT Sport's motorsport rights portfolio, which also includes MotoGP, European Le Mans, Grand Prix, British Speedway and the World Rally Championship.

The broadcaster is promising the UK's "most comprehensive" coverage of the 13-race series, which is set to introduce a number of innovations in 2018-19.

Unscriptd acquired by The Player’s Tribune

Athlete content platform The Players’ Tribune (TPT) has announced the acquisition of rival Unscriptd in a move that the US-based pioneer of so-called athlete-to-fan media describes as a further step towards its goal of building the world's largest community of athletes.

The move represents a significant global expansion for TPT, adding more than 2,500 athletes from Unscriptd’s strongholds in Europe, Asia and Australia and in sports including football, Australian rules football, Formula 1, surfing, tennis, cricket, track and field and rugby.

Sky Sports Racing unveils launch season plans

Sky Sports has unveiled its plans for the soon-to-launch Sky Sports Racing channel, which will replace At The Races from 1st January 2019.

The channel will be available in HD for the first time and produced from Sky Sports’ Osterley headquarters, according to plans revealed at a launch event at the West London studios.

Sky Sports Racing will be the satellite pay-tv broadcaster’s 11th sports channel and the fifth dedicated to a single sport. It will be available to all Sky TV customers in the UK and Ireland.

Global footballers unite behind new OTRO content platform

A new digital football fan platform has launched worldwide with the involvement of some of the game’s biggest names.

OTRO promises fans exclusive access to the lives of players including Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr and David Beckham.

In total, 16 global men’s and women’s stars are backing the venture – pitched as a digital fan club app, which will offer exclusive curated content and player interaction.

Others involved include Zinedine Zidane, Luis Suarez, Romelu Lukaku, Dele Alli, Paolo Dybala, James Rodriguez, Toni Duggan and Eric Cantona.

Discovery’s GOLFTV inks Tiger Woods content deal

Discovery has announced a multi-year global content agreement with Tiger Woods, as part of plans for its soon-to-launch GOLFTV OTT platform in partnership with the PGA Tour.

The media giant will collaborate with 14-time Major winner Woods to develop exclusive content for subscribers to the service.

The first material is set to air in January 2019, when GOLFTV will start its roll-out across all global markets excluding the US, China and South Korea.

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