Discovery Agrees to New Deal with Sky Before Deadline

Discovery Communications said it has reached a new deal with U.K. satellite distributor Sky hours before an end of the month deadline.

Discovery had warned that a blackout of its 12 channels could result if an agreement couldn’t be reached with Sky, which has agreed to be acquired by 21st Century Fox, which already holds a large stake.

“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.

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Financial terms were not disclosed, but a Discovery spokesman said that “the deal we reached with Sky is meaningfully better than our former agreement and their 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."

Discovery’s channels in the U.K — Discovery Channel, Eurosport 1, Eurosport 2, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Discovery History, Discovery Shed, Home and Health, DMAX, Discovery Science and Discovery Turbo — are covered by the agreement.

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.

“We are grateful to our fans in Germany. Thank you for all your support, said Susanne Aigner-Drews, general manager, Discovery Networks Germany, said. “We have been in a business relationship with Sky for 20 years and we are glad that will continue.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.