Discovery To Remain On Sky As They Agree On A New Carriage Deal


Discovery Communications’ 12 channels will continue to air on UK-based Sky pay TV service after the companies agreed on a new carriage deal.

Discovery warned last week that it might go dark on Sky, charging that the service “refuses to pay a fair price” for channels including Discovery, Eurosport 1, Eurosport 2, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Discovery History, Discovery Shed, Home and Health, DMAX, Discovery Science and Discovery Turbo.

But the programmer says today that it has “a successful new deal” that will keep its channels on Sky, and Discovery Channel on Now TV.

Sky says that Discovery “accepted the proposal we gave them over a week ago.”

It also fired an apparent warning shot at Discovery. It announced a deal with PBS America to offer “the best of PBS’ factual programming.” It also agreed to add more than 1,000 hours of on-demand programming from nonfiction channels including History and National Geographic.

Discovery says the terms are “meaningfully better than our former agreement and their proposal” and “enables us to control our destiny in more ways, with even more opportunities to invest and launch channels and consumer services. Stay tuned in the coming weeks.”

Discovery Networks UK Managing Director Susanna Dinnage says her company has been “humbled by the strength of the passion people feel for all our brands,”

The new agreement, she adds, “guarantees Sky’s customers access to Discovery’s wide range of channels and programmes for years to come.”

The deal also covers four pay TV channels in Germany (Discovery, Eurosport 1 HD, Eurosport 2 HD and Eurosport 360 HD) and three broadcast networks (DMAX, Eurosport 1 and TLC).

“We have been in a business relationship with Sky for 20 years and we are glad that will continue,” says Discovery Networks Germany GM Susanne Aigner-Drews.

Discovery had said that it was being paid less by Sky now than it was a decade ago, despite Sky households paying more than they did in 2007. According to the company, its share of viewing on the Sky platform has increased by more than 20% while increased investment in original content has increased by more than 30% since 2010.

Last month 21st Century Fox has agreed to buy the 61% share of Sky that it does not already own for £11.7B ($14.6B).

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