Discovery Launches First Free-to-Air Channel in Spain

Discovery Max in Spain marks the company's fifth free-to-air channel in Europe in the past three years.

MADRID - Discovery Max, Discovery Networks International's newest addition, launched Thursday at 5:45 pm in Spain marking a first for Spain and expanding Discovery's free-to-air brand.

In partnership with Spanish media group Unidad Editorial, which holds the DTT license, Discovery bowed the first factual entertainment product, which will mix local production with Discovery content, on the Spanish television landscape in a free-to-air model.

Discovery Max is designed to complement Discovery's three products on pay platforms in Spain, according to Mark Hollinger, President and CEO of Discovery Networks International.

"Pay-TV is still our core business, but we are constantly evaluating driving forces in the market to help us grow, whether those be through local acquisitions or free-to-air channels," Hollinger said. "My favorite figure from today is that Discovery will now be available to the 17 million TV households in Spain."

With the Spanish launch, Discovery clocks its fifth free-to-air launch in three years, following DMAX in Germany, Quest in the UK and Real Time  and DMAX in Italy.

"Discovery has a long-term perspective of investment," Hollinger said at a splashy presentation in Madrid's Torre Espacio skyscraper. "Despite economic situation of the day, we have a firm commitment to the Spanish market."

Discovery Max will feature product like Bear Grylls'  Ultimate Survival, Buddy Valastro's Cake Boss and series like Raging Planet, Border Security and I'm Alive, as well as testosterone-laden nature documentaries and docu-realities like that focused on tattoo artist Kat Von D, LA Ink: Welcome Home Kat. Additionally, local productions like How It's Made with Alvaro Bulto and American Chopper will round out programming.

"The launch of Discovery Max is an exceptional feat in every way," said Fernando Jerez, Country Manager for Discovery Iberia. "It means the launch of an original project, different from everything else in the Spanish television paradigm."