Sky and Discovery have reached a last-minute deal to keep the likes of Animal Planet and Eurosport on Sky TV.
13 of Discovery’s channels looked certain to disappear from the TV service this morning, with each of the two companies blaming the other for a breakdown in negotiations over recent weeks.
However, they unexpectedly reached an agreement shortly before the 31 January deadline passed, meaning Sky customers still have access to Animal Planet, Discovery HD, Discovery History, Discovery Home & Health, Discovery Science, Discovery Shed, Discovery Turbo, DMAX, Eurosport1, Eurosport2, Investigation Discovery, Quest and TLC.
Discovery’s press release announcing the news suggests that the fans who engaged with its #KeepDiscovery Twitter campaign were a significant driving force behind the agreement.
“We want to thank our millions of viewers and fans for their overwhelming support over the last few days,” said Susanna Dinnage, the MD of Discovery Networks UK. “Our fans’ voices were heard loud and clear. They want choice and great TV and I cannot stress how much we love them for their support.”
This echoed another statement posted to the company’s Twitter account, reading, “To the best fans in TV, thank you. We wanted you to be the first to know that we have reached an agreement which means all your favourite channels and programmes will be staying on Sky. We couldn't have done it without you.”
A Discovery spokesperson described the new deal as “meaningfully better than our former agreement and their proposal”, adding that it will enable it to “control our destiny in more ways, with even more opportunities to invest and launch channels and consumer services.”
However, Sky has confirmed to The Independent that the deal accepted by Discovery was the same deal that was offered last week and played down the influence of the #KeepDiscovery campaign.
“We are pleased that we will continue to carry the Discovery and Eurosport channels on Sky,” said Stephen van Rooyen, the CEO of Sky for UK and the Republic of Ireland. “The deal has been concluded on the right terms after Discovery accepted the proposal we gave them over a week ago. This is a good outcome for all Sky customers.”
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