Discovery and Telia strike carriage agreement following blackout

Telia and international media group Discovery have agreed a new carriage agreement in the Nordic region following a six-day blackout of Discovery channels on the telco’s platform.

The new deal will give Telia customers access to 11 Discovery-owned channels, including Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 2. The agreement will also give the telco the ability to resell Discovery’s OTT streaming service Dplay to its customers later this year.

Telia’s customers lost access to Discovery’s channels in the Nordics (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden) on March 3, after the pair failed to reach an agreement before the previous deals expiry date.

Stein-Erik Vellan, chief executive officer at Telia Norway said: “There have been some tough negotiations, but we are now looking forward to a long-term collaboration with Discovery. The collaboration will give viewers even more high-quality content, greater choice and, not least, the freedom to enjoy the entertainment the way they want.”

Discovery currently hold rights to several premium sports properties in the region including the top-tier domestic football leagues in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Nicklas Norrby, chief executive officer of Discovery Networks Sweden said: “We are very pleased that we have now found a solution to this situation and that Telia’s all customers can see our channels again. We have entered into a long-term and forward-looking partnership with Telia, which ensures that their customers have access to all our channels.”

Tine Austvoll Jensen, chief executive officer of Discovery Networks Norway added: “This is a good deal for all parties, and we are pleased that we can now focus fully on creating good Norwegian entertainment and gathering Norwegian TV viewers around important sporting events such as the Eliteserien and the Olympics.”

Discovery agreed a new multi-year carriage deal with telecoms operator Telenor across the Nordic region last month, adding the distribution of the Dplay streaming offering into the agreement.

It is also currently involved in an ongoing and public distribution battle in Denmark with quadruple play service provider YouSee. Since January 1, YouSee customers have not had access to Discovery content.