Dispute Over: Sky & Discovery Agree New Carriage Deal

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After a public spat between the two companies that has been dragging on for the better part of a week, Sky and Discovery have reached a new multi-year carriage deal that will see their portfolio of channels remain on the satcaster’s platform.

“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”, said Susanna Dinnage, Managing Director, Discovery Networks UK. “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.”

This came down to the wire. If the two companies had been unable to come to terms, Discovery’s channels would have been pulled from the Sky platform after today. At the core of the dispute was cash. Discovery felt that Sky was not offering enough money for their channels and that Sky had been underpaying them for some years; while Sky’s position was that Discovery’s expectation of £1 billion was extreme. Financial terms of the new deal were not disclosed.

“The deal we reached with Sky is meaningfully better than our former agreement and their proposal”, a Discovery spokesperson said in a statement. “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 portfolio in the UK includes: Discovery Channel, Eurosport 1, Eurosport 2, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Discovery History, Discovery Shed, Home and Health, DMAX, Discovery Science and Discovery Turbo. Notably this new carriage agreement comes as TLC UK is in the market for at least one new U.S. scripted series following the cancellations of HeartbeatMistresses and Devious Maids; and Discovery’s flagship channel is making a push into scripted stat-side with Una-Bomber drama Manifesto.