Discovery and Sky have reached an agreement that will see Discovery’s channels continue to be available on Sky, including Eurosport.
The negotiations went down to the wire, with the announcement of an agreement coming just four and a half hours before the channels were due to come off Sky.
Sky had said on Friday that Discovery wanted “close to £1bn” in order for its channels to be carried on Sky’s TV service. Discovery disputed that figure.
Sky said Discovery had accepted the proposal it had given the US media giant “over a week ago”, suggesting Discovery’s demand for more money may not have been met. Nevertheless, Discovery was first to claim victory in the dispute, thanking the support it had received from viewers.
Sky has claimed that Discovery finally accepted the proposal Sky had given them over a week ago after the ending of a bitter carriage dispute between the two media giants.
Both sides have claimed victory, with Discovery implying pressure from viewers made the difference, while Sky said Discovery had only gone and agreed to the offer that was already on the table when they walked out and went public about the dispute last week.
It appears Discovery may not have been able to get the money it had been expecting for carriage of its channels, including Eurosport, across Sky’s UK and German operations, quoted by Sky as being “close to £1bn” and that Discovery wasn’t prepared to lose access to the millions of Sky subscribers across the UK, Ireland, Germany and Austria.
Sky has the largest number of subscribers among the various UK pay TV operators, and without Sky, it is unclear if some of the smaller niche Discovery channels, such as Discovery Shed and Turbo, which have low viewing figures, would have been commercially viable.
The agreement also includes Germany and Austria, where Discovery also threatened to pull its channels from the local Sky TV platform.