International arm nabs 20% interest in French TV group
Reinforcing a content deal inked earlier this year and continuing U.S. media’s pursuit of overseas coin, Discovery Networks Intl. has acquired a 20% stake in French TV group Televista, the company said Tuesday.Discovery will provide access to its programming library and become a strategic partner to Televista, which is in the process of launching a new femme DTT channel called Via. Via’s other investors include French funds Aplus Finance, Altice and Audacia, the companies said in a statement. Discovery will have access to local French programming produced by Via that it can funnel through its large and growing international channel lineup. Discovery’s push into the female lifestyle brand includes Real Time network and, Stateside, a partnership with Oprah Winfrey on OWN. “Discovery will bring both expertise and content we need to accelerate our development especially in free DTT channels where Discovery is already present in Italy, Spain and Germany,” said Televista CEO Gaspard de Chavagnac. “France is a very important market for us, and we are delighted to be able to make this investment,” said Dee Forbes, prexy and managing director, Discovery Networks Western Europe.