In a further sign that Turkey is a hot TV market, Discovery Communications is expanding its Turkish footprint by forging a pact to buy free-to-air news and entertainment channel CNBC-e from prominent privately owned Dogus Media Group, which will also become Discovery’s exclusive ad sales representative in the country where consumer spending is steadily increasing.
The strategic alliance with Dogus Media Group comes after Discovery opened a local office in 2012 and attained full distribution across all major Turkish pay-TV platforms.
CNBC-e, which offers a mixture of news, international entertainment, and scripted content which makes it popular with Turkish young adults, will mark Discovery’s first foray into Turkey’s free-to-air segment and increase its portfolio to 13 channels. The others are dedicated to documentaries, factual entertainment and sports. Four of Discovery Networks’ pay-TV channels currently rank within the top 10 most frequently watched pay TV channels in Turkey.
Kasia Kieli, topper of Discovery Networks Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa boasted in a statement that the move “will see us reach the next level in Turkey.”
Dogus owns several generalist and thematic TV channels in Turkey, including News Channel NTV and entertainment channel Star TV, which airs smash hit Ottoman Empire costume drama “Magnificent Century.”
The group will be responsible for selling Discovery’s entire commercial portfolio, including local versions of Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Discovery Science, and securing sponsorship opportunities from Turkish advertisers.
Reflecting the growing vibrancy of the Turkish TV market which serves an upwardly mobile local population of 76 million at the crossroads of Europe and Asia and exports an estimated roughly $200 million worth of TV product annually, Turkey will be the country of honour at the upcoming Mipcom TV mart in Cannes in October.