Sky says Discovery Channel wants £1 billion to cover the carriage on its networks.
Further details of the negotiations have emerged of the negotiations that have been on-going for the past 12 months. Without agreement the channels would disappear from Sky screens in the UK and Germany after February 1 – as ever with this kind of dispute whether the channels that include TLC and Eurosport are dropped or pulled depends on your point of view.
“We were prepared to pay a fair price for the Discovery and Eurosport channels and invest more in those channels to make them even better for our customers. We have offered hundreds of millions of pounds to Discovery, a $12 billion American business, but that wasn’t enough. They asked the Sky Group to pay close to £1 billion for their portfolio of channels, many of which are in decline,” said a Sky spokesperson.
“If Discovery don’t want their channels to disappear, as their public campaign suggests, they could have made arrangements to stay on Sky, including free to air with advertising funding or with their own subscription, but they’ve chosen not to do so.”
For its part Discovery has enlisted the support of a number of celebrities including Jonathan Edwards, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jimmy White, Colin Murray and Katie Hopkins.
The broadcaster has adopted to hashtag #keepdiscovery in its campaign to keep its suite of 12 channels in Sky homes.
A promotional video is also running on screen.
A Discovery spokesperson, said: “We at Discovery are hugely humbled by the public support for our channels. The reaction from viewers and celebrities is staggering and we are really grateful. Our wonderful viewers deserve to keep the programmes and sports events that they adore and we still hope that this situation can be resolved with Sky.”