Discovery, ProSiebenSat.1 Launch German OTT Venture

Discovery Communications announced a streaming joint venture with ProSiebenSat.1 that will combine the German operator’s seven mobile channels with Discovery’s free-to-air products in the country and eventually other content partners.  

At launch, the streaming service will include ProSiebenSat.1’s current 7TV mobile offering: ProSieben, SAT.1, kabel eins, sixx, ProSieben MAXX, SAT.1 Gold and kabel eins Doku, along with Discovery’s free-to-air German channels DMAX and TLC.  The streaming service will initially be delivered to consumers under the 7TV brand using its app and underlying technology platform, with further technology enhancements  planned for the future. ProSiebenSat.1’s media house, SevenOne Media, will sell the 50-50 joint venture’s digital ad inventory.  The service is expected to debut later this year. 

Both partners said in a statement that the streaming service is the first step in a broader over-the-top offering including other channels and content from Discovery and eventually other content providers.  That could include sports content Both Discovery and ProSieben said they are also pursuing strategies to deepen their sports content through the JV, including packaging the 7TV service with Discovery’s direct-to-consumer Eurosport Player app.  Recently, Discovery’s Eurosport business secured premium sports rights for the German market, including Bundesliga soccer, beginning this August, and the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018. 

“This initiative with Discovery Communications is an important step forward which will allow us to develop top technology and over time include additional channels,” said ProSiebenSat.1 chief digital entertainment officer Christof Wahl in a statement. “Our viewers will benefit from an enhanced, premium range of content.” 

The 7TV app offers an extensive library of free library content as well as live streams of ProSiebenSat.1’s free TV channels, and has already received about six million downloads since launching in 2014.   Both partners are expected to provide the joint venture platform with significant marketing and promotion, in addition to the JV’s own marketing efforts to drive audience.  A search process for a chief executive to lead the joint venture is currently underway.

“We are committed to bringing our strong brands and loved content to every person, on every platform, and working with the best partners across Europe to deliver on that promise,” said Discovery Networks International president Jean-Briac Perrette in a statement. “Germany is a priority market for us and poised for new growth fueled by our recent investments.  We are excited to be partnering with ProSiebenSat.1 and eventually other media groups to provide German fans with a robust offering of their favorite content.”