Discovery, Comcast's Sky Strike Expanded Carriage Deal

'Wheeler Dealers' still - H 2020
Courtesy of Discovery

The multi-year agreement covers linear channels, VOD and, for the first time, Discovery’s direct-to-consumer brands in the U.K. and Ireland, such as MotorTrend.

Comcast-owned European pay TV giant Sky and Discovery have struck a new and expanded multi-year carriage deal covering the U.K., Ireland, Germany and Austria.

For the first time, the pact covers Discovery’s direct-to-consumer brands in the U.K. and Ireland, such as MotorTrend, given that the firm has focused on growing its streaming offerings. It will also include "new products from the future pipeline of Discovery's direct-to-consumer offerings," the companies said. Discovery has said it would launch, this year, a natural history streaming service built around BBC content outside of Britain and Ireland.

The carriage agreement also covers linear channel distribution, video on demand, as well as an extension of the companies’ advertising relationship. Financial terms of the "long-term, multi-faceted partnership," unveiled late on Sunday, weren’t disclosed.

"Discovery’s portfolio of real-life entertainment channels, including Discovery Channel, will continue to be showcased across the Sky platforms in the U.K., and on the Sky Deutschland platforms in Germany and Austria," the companies said. "The Discovery Channel will continue to be available on the Now TV [streaming] platform in the U.K. and Sky Ticket in Germany."

Premium service Sky Q and Discovery’s Eurosport will also be "working together to bring the best possible experience to customers across the U.K. and Ireland for the 2021 Olympics with ultra high-definition (HD) and HD pop-up feeds dedicated to specific sports and events."

As part of the deal, Sky’s advertising sales arm Sky Media and Discovery renewed their sales partnership in the U.K. and Ireland, vowing to also create "new opportunities for advertisers in VOD and via [Sky ad targeting platform] AdSmart."

Stephen van Rooyen, CEO, U.K. & Europe at Sky, said: :We’re pleased to have reached a new agreement with Discovery. Our customers across the U.K., Ireland, Germany and Austria can continue to enjoy their content, including their world-class factual programming." Not covered by the new agreement is Sky’s operation in Italy.

Said Kasia Kieli, president & managing director, Discovery Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA): "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 programs for years to come."