Discovery strikes new carriage deal with Sky

Discovery Communications and Sky have agreed a new carriage deal that will allow Discovery's Eurosport channels to stay on Sky's platforms in the UK and Germany.

Media and entertainment company Discovery had threatened to pull its channels from international pay-television broadcaster Sky and its video-streaming service, Now TV, due to a carriage dispute.

Discovery had accused Sky of using its “dominant market position to further its own commercial interest over those of viewers and independent broadcasters” while Sky had claimed Discovery’s price demands were “completely unrealistic.”

The carriage dispute was resolved yesterday (Tuesday) evening ahead of the proposed midnight cut-off.

Discovery’s portfolio of 12 channels, including Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 2, will continue to be available on Sky in the UK. Discovery’s four pay-television channels in Germany – including Eurosport 1 HD, Eurosport 2 HD and Eurosport 360 HD – will also continue to be available. Discovery also operates three free-to-air channels in Germany – DMAX, Eurosport 1 and TLC.

The length of the new carriage deal was not disclosed, but Susanna Dinnage, managing director of Discovery Networks UK, said that the deal would guarantee Sky customers access to Discovery’s channels “for years to come.”

Discovery Networks Germany general manager Susanne Aigner-Drews added: “We have been in a business relationship with Sky for 20 years and we are glad that will continue.”

But the two parties continued to contest which had got the best of the new deal.

Sky UK and Ireland chief executive Stephen van Rooyen said: “The deal has been concluded on the right terms after Discovery accepted the proposal we gave them over a week ago.”

Discovery responded by telling TV Sports Markets that the proposal agreed upon contained "a much improved number in it."

In Germany, Discovery has exclusive Olympic Games rights from 2018. Eurosport also has an exclusive package of Bundesliga football rights from the start of the 2017-18 season.

In the UK, Eurosport will also play a key role in broadcasting the Olympics from 2018, while it also has exclusive live rights to the Australian and US Open tennis grand slams and covers cycling ‘grand tours’ the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España.