Discovery Communications may be ready for its content to be distributed in broader fashion by cable partners, judging by an agreement the Silver Spring, Md. programmer unveiled Monday with Time Warner Cable.
The two companies announced an early renewal of a distribution deal, which will give Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks the ability to continue delivering Discovery’s networks to their subscribers. Among Discovery’s properties are TLC, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and Destination America. As part of the pact however, Time Warner Cable is expected to be given the ability to stream Discovery content digitally, so long as the viewers who desire it can provide proof of their subscription.
As such, the pact marks Discovery’s first distribution pact to broadly encompass “TV Everywhere,” the industry concept that makes TV-network content available to subscribers in non-linear fashion, which would include online streaming or via mobile device. Discovery is also conducting a “TV Everywhere” trial with Comcast.
Discovery content should be available for customers who can authenticate their Time Warner Cable subscription sometime next year, according to a Discovery Communications spokesperson.
“Our customers will continue to enjoy Discovery’s networks, in addition to a robust VOD experience, and we look forward to continually working with Discovery to provide more expansive out of home access to their content, ”said Andrew I. Rosenberg, senior veep for content acquisition for Time Warner Cable, in a statement.
In the recent past, Discovery has not rushed to make its programming available via digital streaming. But in the company’s third-quarter call with investors, Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav suggested the company saw some worth in additional distribution and would likely bake it into carriage deals so long as the terms were viewed by Discovery as providing value.