Discovery pivots to D2C, slams T-Mobile

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David Zaslav says Discovery’s international streaming service will be fully unveiled in December. The Discovery CEO says the service will be “differentiated” from others such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, with originals, local sport and news content among the plans.

Zaslav told investors the streamer’s offering had now “come into clear focus […] We have a definitive path to driving engagement and scale, an unparalleled library of loved brands and personality-driven content, which will support a roster of exclusive and windowed content, all culminating in a platform that is global in focus and local in appeal.”

“We’ve been holding our global content to go at [D2C] and now we’re going to go at it in a way that we think is quite unique. And I’ve said it for a long time; local content. All of our existing genres, local. And looking at this opportunity to add local sport, and in some cases, it could also be local news. It’s a big differentiator for us,” he added.

Meanwhile, Zaslav confirmed a dispute over how Discovery’s channels are being offered on T-Mobile’s new TVision pay-TV service. Four of Discovery’s most popular networks – Discovery Channel, Food Network, HGTV and TLC – are being offered as part of a $10 a month Vibe skinny bundle, but are not included on higher priced packages with more channels. T-Mobile unveiled its revamped T-Vision last month.

“We were very surprised with how T-Mobile decided that they were going to bundle our networks, particularly because we have a clear agreement where our networks are required to be carried on all their basic tiers OTT offerings,” Zaslav said.

“We’re in active discussion with them to quickly resolve that issue. We don’t believe they have the right to do what they’re doing right now. And they know. It’s very clear to them and they’re focused on it,” he continued.

It has been reported other content owners have similar concerns.


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