Comcast-backed pay-TV broadcaster Sky and Discovery have struck a new multi-year deal that will see Discovery’s non-linear brands, such as MotorTrend and other SVOD products in the pipeline for the U.K. and Ireland, made available on Sky channels and platforms, such as streamer Now TV.
Under the deal, Discovery’s portfolio of entertainment channels will also continue to be offered across Sky platforms in the U.K., and on the Sky Deutschland platforms in Germany and Austria. The Discovery Channel will continue to be offered on Now TV in the U.K. and on Sky Ticket in Germany.
Sky Q and Discovery’s sports network Eurosport will also be working together around the rescheduled 2021 Olympics, with UHD and HD pop-up feeds dedicated to specific sports and events for customers in the U.K. and Ireland.
As part of the expanded deal, Sky Media and Discovery have also renewed their advertising sales partnership in the U.K. and Ireland. The firms have said they are creating new opportunities for advertisers in VOD and via AdSmart. Reaching over 95% of the UK population, Sky Media represents all of Sky’s channels and also sells on behalf of a range of other broadcasters and channels, including Channel 5, Viacom and Discovery.
Overall, the deal spans linear channel distribution, video on demand, direct to consumer products, and an extension of the advertising relationship.
The renewed agreement comes more than three years after a headline-grabbing carriage dispute between Discovery and Sky, which came dangerously close to seeing all Discovery content yanked from Sky services.
In a post-coronavirus climate, however, a renewal of the deal makes sense for both parties, and it is likely more broadcasters will band together under more reasonable deal terms to leverage each other’s assets and reach.
Stephen van Rooyen, CEO for UK and Europe at Sky, said: “Our customers across the U.K., Ireland, Germany and Austria can continue to enjoy their content, including their world-class factual programming.
“We bring together the best content from partners like Discovery, HBO and Showtime, add it to the best live sport in Europe, our award-winning Sky Originals and apps we love like Netflix, and put it all in one place on the world’s best platform, Sky Q.”
Kasia Kieli, president and MD for Discovery EMEA, added: “Sky and Discovery have been working together for over 30 years to bring audiences the best in real-life entertainment. We are very pleased that our strategic relationship continues to grow, and our new multi-dimensional agreement means Sky customers can continue to enjoy our wide range of factual, sport, lifestyle and entertainment channels and programmes for years to come.”
James Gibbons, EVP and GM for Discovery Networks U.K., Ireland, ANZ, said: “We are also delighted to extend the advertising partnership for our rapidly growing U.K. portfolio across linear TV and VOD, and welcome Sky as a key distribution partner for our streaming services in the U.K. and Ireland, as we forge ahead in the exciting world of direct-to-consumer.”