Last summer, executives at Eurosport—a London-based live sports TV network owned by U.S. media company Discovery—couldn’t believe their eyes.
Discovery+, a new streaming service from Eurosport’s parent company, wasn’t promoting live events from the Tokyo Olympics on the home screen of the service in European countries, according to a person familiar with the situation. Instead, it was showcasing “90 Day Fiancé” and other reality TV shows, the person said. The Eurosport executives couldn’t make sense of the choice because Discovery+ had the rights to stream the games in the U.K., Italy, Sweden and other countries as a result of a Eurosport deal.
It took days of discussion between the parties before Discovery+ finally gave the Olympics prominent billing on its home screen—bringing a noticeable increase in viewership in those markets for the service, the person said. A Discovery spokesperson declined to comment.