Lease on East London base expires later this year

BT Sport MotoGP 1

Warner Bros. Discovery is to close BT Sport’s Stratford studio.

This news comes as the broadcaster told over 200 staff of the joint venture between it and BT Sport that they are at risk of redundancy. The majority of those at risk are based at Stratford, and they have been told that they will have to reapply for new positions created within Warner Bros. Discovery. The staff at risk will be given priority for these roles. 

The lease on BT Sport Studios expires at later this year, and the joint venture plans to move to Warner Bros. Discovery’s existing facilities in West London. The joint venture was formed last year, and will eventually see BT Sport and Eurosport form a single brand in the UK and Ireland.

BT Sport has been based at the studio since its creation in 2013. However, with the rise of remote production, as shown in Warner Bros. Discovery’s virtual studio Cube broadcasts, the large space may not be as vital as it used to be.

A Warner Bros. Discovery spokesperson said: “A consultation with representatives of BT Sport employees is underway. This results from the expiry of BT Sport’s lease in Stratford and move to Warner Bros. Discovery’s (WBD) existing facilities, as well as a proposed reorganisation of the business.

“Finding operating efficiencies was envisioned by the BT and Warner Bros. Discovery joint venture and is critical to maintaining our competitiveness in a fast evolving and competitive environment. BT Sport employees have priority for the new roles that have been identified within Warner Bros. Discovery’s sports organisation and broader business.

“Given the consultation is ongoing, it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”

Prospect, the union representing the BT Sport employees affected, said it is “deeply concerned” about the situation. National secretary John Ferrett said: “Prospect is deeply concerned over these redundancy proposals, and that they come mere months after staff were transferred to Warner Bros Discovery with promises of a bright future.

“Hardworking staff who were transferred only last November in roles they were told were secure are now facing an uncertain future.

“This is an incredibly unsettling time for our members at BT Sport and we will be doing everything we can to support them. Members who are due to transfer from BT to Warner Bros. Discovery in future phases of the joint venture will also rightly be concerned about their future careers with the business.

“We are fully engaging with Warner Bros. Discovery to understand what has led to this about face and why not one single job currently in BT Sport is due to remain under the organisation’s stated restructure.”