M7 Group will cease carrying all Discovery Networks channels on its platforms by the end of this month if on-going negotiations between the two parties fail to reach a satisfactory outcome.
According to M7 Group, this is applicable for all relevant Discovery channels as Discovery Networks forces platform operators to take all their channels or nothing. The channels vary per country but include the Discovery channels, TLC, DMax and the Eurosport channels.
Hans Troelstra, CEO M7 Group, said: “The proposed new carriage fees are doubling the already substantial amounts Discovery Networks charges us today for carrying their channels in our various pay-TV bouquets. These amounts are out of proportion, especially considering the average performance of these channels in their markets.”
Discovery has recently acquired expensive sports rights for the Olympic Games and the Bundesliga to support their Eurosport channels.
Troelstra added: “In our markets this newly acquired content for the Olympic Games will be syndicated to the public channels or will be available via their Eurosport free-to-air channel.” The Bundesliga content will only be available on a separate pay-TV channel.
M7 Group says that if parties will not reach a satisfactory conclusion by the end of the month, it is preparing a suitable back-up scenario allowing subscribers to continue enjoying content in similar genres, without any forced price increase. Moreover, the available capacity will be used for adding both new popular channels and converting a number of existing highly-viewed channels from SD into HD picture quality, while also extending the range of non-linear services.
Troelstra continued: “We are quite confident that these adaptions will result in an exciting new content offering that will help to maintain the loyalty of our valued customers.”
M7 Group operates pay-TV platforms in the Benelux (CanalDigitaal, TV Vlaaderen, TéléSat, Online.nl), Czech Republic and Slovakia (Skylink), Austria (HD Austria) and Germany (M7 Deutschland).
As previously reported by Broadband TV News, Discovery was also involved in carriage dispute with Sky that was settled in January this year.