Discovery is eyeing a possible tie-up in Europe with Italian broadcaster Mediaset, according to reports in the Italian press.
According to Il Sole 24 Ore, contact between Mediaset CEO, Piersilvio Berlusconi, and the main shareholder of Discovery, Liberty Media chairman John Malone, was made last summer.
Details of the so-called ‘Amerigo’ project have emerged, which seem to indicate an alliance between broadcasters in Italy, Spain, Germany and the US, with possible extension to France.
However, the daily claims that the project, proposed by US merchant bank Raine to Mediaset and Discovery managers, is now on stand-by. The project can also be seen as a proposal for collaboration for the development of the Discovery group in Europe according to the same source.
Interest from Discovery derives from the fact that Mediaset is present in both Italy and Spain and has a 24.9 per cent stake in ProSiebenSat.1 in Germany, geographical areas complementary to those in which the US broadcaster is present in Europe.
Daily La Repubblica reports that Discovery allegedly approached Mediaset as early as last May, but the Italian company took time in the hope of a positive outcome of the MFE operation.