The streaming OTT service will initially bring together ProSiebenSat.1’s seven German channels already included in the group’s 7TV mobile platform — ProSieben, Sat.1, Kabel Eins, Sixx, ProSieben MAXX, Sat.1 Gold and Kabel Eins Doku — and Discovery’s free-to-air German channels DMAX and TLC. The new streaming service will initially be offered as part of 7TV and use the service’s app and technology platform, although further technology enhancements are planned.
ProSiebenSat.1 and Discovery are currently looking for a chief executive to head the 50-50 joint venture, which they described as a first step in a partnership that will also see the creation of a broader OTT platform that will include other channels and content from Discovery and eventually programming from other providers. The companies are open to discussing the inclusion of third-party content on the platform with other media firms as well as bringing in new shareholders into the joint venture.
The partners are also pursuing strategies to deepen their sports content through the venture, including packaging the 7TV service with Discovery’s direct-to-consumer Eurosport Player app. Discovery’s Eurosport business recently secured premium sports rights, including Bundesliga soccer and the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, for the German market.
Christof Wahl, ProSiebenSat.1’s chief digital entertainment officer, said the venture was “an important step forward which will allow us to develop top technology and over time include additional channels. Our viewers will benefit from an enhanced, premium range of content.”
Jean-Briac Perrette, president and CEO of Discovery Networks International, added that the companies were committed to bringing their brands and content “to every person, on every platform, and working with the best partners across Europe to deliver on that promise. Germany is a priority market for us and poised for new growth fueled by our recent investments.”
ProSiebenSat.1’s SevenOne Media division will oversee ad sales for the joint venture, which is set to launch later this year.
The 7TV app, which currently offers an extensive library of free video library content as well as live streams of ProSiebenSat.1’s free TV channels, has received some six million downloads since launching in 2014.