The Finnish operator says it is preparing to discontinue distribution of the two brands from January 1, 2018, blaming unreasonably high distribution fees.
Several other operators in the Nordic region, including Com Hem and Canal Digital, and the UK’s Sky have also been faced with an increase in distribution fees, which Discovery categorises as being no more than the price of a cup of coffee.
“We are actively working on reaching an extension agreement with Discovery. Negotiations are ongoing, and we hope that they will lead to a resolution as soon as possible,” says Pekka Väisänen, Senior Vice President of DNA’s Consumer Business.
Should DNA go ahead with its threat Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, Discovery HD Showcase, Discovery Science, Discovery World, Investigation Discovery, Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 2 will be pulled from cable, IPTV and mobile networks.
“We find it strange that DNA are going out with this information now, as we are currently discussing how we can structure our partnership for the future,” a spokeswoman for Discovery Networks Finland Oy told Broadband TV News. “Our hope is to find a solution together with DNA before the current deal expires, so that Finish viewers can continue consuming our sports and entertainment, including the Winter Olympic Games.”
Although likely to go down to the wire, previous disagreements have been solved within a week of screens going dark.
DNA says its aim is to be able to continue providing its customers with diverse viewing opportunities without an effect on the consumer prices. But Discovery has invested heavily in Eurosport since its acquisition, most notably with rights to the Winter and Summer Olympics.
The current agreement expires at the end of the year.