With just hours to go before Discovery-branded channels were pulled from Sky in the UK and Germany, an agreement has been reached between broadcaster and platform.
“We are pleased that we will continue to carry the Discovery and Eurosport channels on Sky,” said Stephen van Rooyen, CEO UK & ROI, Sky. “The deal has been concluded on the right terms after Discovery accepted the proposal we gave them over a week ago. This is a good outcome for all Sky customers.”
Van Rooyen’s statement confirms how long Discovery had been reading the contract – but doesn’t reveal its contents.
A Discovery spokesperson reacted to Sky’s statement by e-mail: “The deal we reached with Sky is meaningfully better than our former agreement and their proposal. Furthermore, our new arrangement 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.”
Susanna Dinnage, Managing Director, Discovery Networks UK, said: “We want to thank our millions of viewers and fans for their overwhelming support over the last few days. We have been humbled by the strength of the passion people feel for all our brands, including Discovery Channel, Eurosport, TLC, Animal Planet and Investigation Discovery.”
The agreement includes Discovery’s four pay-TV channels in Germany: Discovery Channel, Eurosport 1 HD, Eurosport 2 HD and Eurosport 360 HD. Discovery also operates three free-to-air networks in Germany: DMAX, Eurosport 1 and TLC.
Late last week Sky had claimed Discovery were seeking just shy of £1 billion for distribution in the UK and Germany.
Susanne Aigner-Drews, General Manager, Discovery Networks Germany, said: “We are grateful to our fans in Germany. Thank you for all your support. We have been in a business relationship with Sky for 20 years and we are glad that will continue.”
It’s believed Sky Italy is covered by a separate agreement.
Separately, Sky has announced a new deal with PBS America that will bring the best of PBS’s factual programming to Sky, covering history, science, current affairs, arts and culture.