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Although not quite taking it to the 11th hour, with news emerging mid-evening UK time, pay-TV platform Sky and multi-channel programmer Discovery have agreed a carriage deal which means Discovery’s portfolio of 12 channels will continue to be available on Sky and Discovery Channel will continue to be available on NOW TV in the UK after January 31st 2017.
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.”
“We have reached a new agreement that guarantees Sky’s customers access to Discovery’s wide range of channels and programmes for years to come. Our fans’ voices were heard loud and clear. They want choice and great TV and I cannot stress how much we love them for their support.”
Discovery’s portfolio in the UK has the following channels: Discovery Channel, Eurosport 1, Eurosport 2, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Discovery History, Discovery Shed, Home and Health, DMAX, Discovery Science and Discovery Turbo
The agreement also 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.
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.”
“We are pleased that we will continue to carry the Discovery and Eurosport channels on Sky,” declared Stephen van Rooyen, CEO UK and ROI, Sky, who suggested that the deal had been concluded on “the right terms” after Discovery accepted the proposal Sky had offered over a week previously. “This is a good outcome for all Sky customers,” he averred.
In response, a Discovery spokesperson continued the war of words by suggesting that the deal was “meaningfully better” than its former agreement and Sky’s 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,” said Discovery.