In a deal that gives it further access to the Chinese market, Discovery Communications has partnered with China’s Wasu Digital TV Media Group to supply content for new local pay-TV channel Qiu Suo. The subscription channel launched earlier this week and offers factual and lifestyle entertainment programming from outlets including Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet. Wasu is owned by State-run outfits Hangzhou Culture, Radio and Television Group and the Zhejiang Radio and Television Group. It has China’s largest digital content library and about 20M subscribers. Discovery, some of whose programming was already available in China via other providers, will act as a channel and content consultant for Qiu nSuo. Arjan Hoekstra, president and managing director of Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, said, “The new channel will introduce millions of Chinese viewers to some of Discovery’s best content and, building on the success of our existing business in China, paves the way for the next phase of growth for Discovery in one of the world’s fastest growing economies.” Discovery has been on a big international push of late. In January, it fast-tracked its acquisition of a controlling stake in pan-European platform Eurosport, and last year bought the SBS Nordic operations of Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1. It’s also understood to be considering a bid for the UK’s Channel 5.
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