This is a surprise: Discovery has been slow to grant streaming rights to its programming, waiting to see how much extra distributors would be willing to pay — and when Nielsen would begin to measure viewing on iPads and other mobile devices. But the planets apparently aligned for a new carriage deal with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks that the companies struck before their previous one expired. The companies say this morning that subscribers will “enjoy authenticated access [that’s industry jargon for TV Everywhere] to Discovery content in the near future” in a deal that I’m told runs through the end of the decade. Some of the details still need to be ironed out: Time Warner Cable SVP for Content Acquisition Andrew Rosenberg says the agreement will provide subscribers with “a robust VOD experience” as execs “look forward to continually working with Discovery to provide more expansive out of home access to their content.” Discovery CEO David Zaslav told analysts last month that TV Everywhere is “a real benefit to the cable operator” but so far there’s been “a little bit of an impasse on value.” Discovery had held back from granting rights because “our deals [with cable and satellite distributors] haven’t come up yet.” But he added that he might reach an agreement before a renewal came up saying that “if we get the right value, we’ll do it. …We’re in a very good position because people are really liking our channels. And with that kind of scale, the distributors are going to need to have us on TV Everywhere for it to be successful.”
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