Discovery to Acquire Turkish Free-to-Air Network

David Zaslav Executive Portrait 2011
Discovery Communications

Turkish media giant Dogus Media Group will become the company's ad sales rep in the country under a strategic partnership.

Discovery Communications said on Thursday that it has agreed to form a strategic relationship with Turkish media giant Dogus Media Group and acquire its free-to-air news and entertainment network CNBC-e.

The company said the agreement will increase its portfolio to 13 channels and strengthen its ad sales offer in Turkey by making Dogus Discovery’s ad sales representative in the country. Discovery, led by CEO David Zaslav, opened an office in Turkey in 2012.

Financial details of the deal weren't disclosed.

"Turkey has been an important market for Discovery for 17 years, and we are proud of our position as one of the leading international broadcasters in the country," said Kasia Kieli, president and managing director of Discovery Networks Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. "Discovery’s global success is based on building strong local teams and looking for new opportunities that build scale in key markets."

She added: "Our expanded relationship with Dogus, including ad sales representation, and new investments such as the acquisition of the CNBC-e channel, will see us reach the next level in Turkey."

"Dogus Media Group holds a leading position in the Turkish television industry through the ownership of both thematic and mainstream television channels as a Turkish media conglomerate that has demonstrated a consistent growth record since 1996," said Dogus chairman Erman Yerdelen. "With this strategic relationship, Discovery’s Turkish viewers will enjoy a greater variety of choice in entertainment."

Dogus will be responsible for selling Discovery’s entire channel portfolio, including local versions of Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Discovery Science, as well as securing sponsorship opportunities from Turkish advertisers. The channel acquisition is expected to close later this year.

"Turkey is a dynamic TV market where free-to-air plays a crucial role. With the addition of a free-to-air channel in our portfolio of documentary, factual entertainment and sports channels, we will have a stronger offering for our viewers and commercial partners, and we look forward to working alongside Dogus to increase the scale of our business in Turkey," said James Gibbons, executive vp of Discovery Network’s emerging business.

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