Sky, Discovery Expand New Long-Term Partnership

Comcast-owned Sky and Discovery have agreed on a new long-term, multi-faceted partnership across the U.K, and Ireland, Germany and Austria. 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 Discovery Channel will continue to be available on the Now TV platform in the U.K. and Sky Ticket in Germany.

The deal includes linear channel distribution, video-on-demand, direct-to-consumer products, and extension of the advertising relationship.

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For the first time, the multiyear deal also covers Discovery’s non-linear brands in the U.K. and Ireland. Sky will be a distribution partner for Discovery’s existing direct-to-consumer streaming services such as MotorTrend, and new products from the future pipeline of Discovery’s direct-to-consumer offerings.

“We bring together the best content from partners like Discovery, HBO and Showtime, add it to the best live sport in Europe, our award-winning Sky Originals and apps we love like Netflix, and put it all in one place on the world’s best platform, Sky Q,” Stephen van Rooyen, CEO of U.K.  and Europe for Sky, said in a statement.

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Sky Q and 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 UHD and HD pop up feeds dedicated to specific sports and events.

As part of the expanded deal, Sky Media and Discovery renewed their advertising sales partnership in the U.K. and Ireland while creating new opportunities for advertisers in VOD and via AdSmart. Reaching more than 95% of the U.K. population, Sky Media represents all of Sky’s channels and also sells on behalf of a range of renowned broadcasters and channels including Channel 5, Viacom and Discovery.

“Sky and Discovery have been working together for more than 30 years to bring audiences the best in real-life entertainment,” added Kasia Kieli, president and MD for Discovery EMEA. “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.”

FilmRise Picks Up Select International Streaming Rights to ‘MythBusters’ and ‘Deadly Women’

New York-based FilmRise has acquired select international streaming rights to Beyond Distribution’s Emmy-nominated science entertainment show “MythBusters” and true crime series “Deadly Women.”

The company will distribute “MythBusters,” starring special effects experts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, in the United Kingdom and Australia.

“Deadly Women,” the miniseries that chronicles three murders within each episode, all committed by women, will be digitally distributed by FilmRise in the United Kingdom.

“We are thrilled to begin our partnership with Beyond Distribution by helping to expand the reach of their amazing shows ‘MythBusters’ and ‘Deadly Women,” FilmRise CEO Danny Fisher said in a statement. “Streaming audiences adore shows that debunk myths and solve mysteries, so we are confident they will be enjoyed among our streaming partner platforms, both in the SVOD and ad-supported space.”

“MythBusters” aired in North America on the Discovery Channel from 2003 through 2016, with 282 total episodes and eight Primetime Emmy Award nominations. The series takes myths, tall tales and urban legends and gives them the scientific treatment to determine their validity. Myths are proven true, probable, possible, improbable or busted. Often after the real-world practical tests have proved or debunked a myth, the team will take the experiment to the extreme, many times using more modern technology than the myth could have used or upping the black powder for impressive explosions.

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“Deadly Women” is a true-life crime documentary-style TV series with each episode having a unifying theme such as jealousy, financial gain, mental illness or crimes committed by teenagers or the elderly. The stories are told through re-enactments and interviews. Episodes also feature contributors in relevant fields such as law enforcement, law media and forensic experts. Occasionally, family or friends of the subject or their victims appear. Hosted by FBI Criminal Profiler Candice DeLong and narrated by Lynnanne Zager, the program has become a staple on Investigation Discovery (ID), has racked up 13 seasons and remains in production.

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The deal was negotiated by FilmRise VP of acquisitions Max Einhorn and Munia Kanna-Konsek, head of sales at Beyond Distribution.

Sling TV Offering Discovery Network Channels

Dish Network-owned Sling TV Nov. 28 announced it has expanded online TV service to include nine Discovery channels on its domestic and Spanish-language platforms.

Discovery Channel, Investigation Discovery (ID) and TLC are now available in the $25 “Sling Blue” service; Investigation Discovery (ID) and MotorTrend (formerly Velocity) are now available in the “Sling Orange” service ($40 when combined).

American Heroes Channel and Destination America are now available in “Heartland Extra” add-on; Science Channel is now available in “News Extra” add-on. Discovery en Español and Discovery Familia are now available in “Best of Spanish TV” base or add-on Extras.

“With the addition of some Discovery channels in our base service and others in our genre-based add-on Extras, we continue to deliver on our consumer promise of providing the most choice and flexibility in programming options,” Warren Schlichting, president of Sling TV, said in a statement.

Discovery Channel features shows like “Gold Rush” and “Alaska: The Last Frontier”. TLC showcases lives of reality TV characters, including “90 Day Fiancé” and “The Little Couple”.

Investigation Discovery (ID) features documentaries and series such as “Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda” and “People Magazine Investigates”.

MotorTrend showcases the people and the stories behind the cars. Sling Orange subscribers can now watch shows like “Wheeler Dealers”.

The following channels are available in Heartland Extra or News Extras (each $5 per month with a subscription to Sling Orange and/or Sling Blue):

American Heroes Channel showcases military battles, people and pivotal moments in time. The channel features series such as, “World War II: Witness to War.”

Destination America is the only network to celebrate the people, places, and stories of the United States with shows like “Ghost Brothers.”

Science Channel immerses viewers into possibilities of science, from string theory and futuristic cities to accidental discoveries and outrageous inventions. Subscribers of News Extras can view shows like “Mythical Beasts” on Science Channel.

The following channels are available in Best of Spanish TV standalone service ($10/month) or add-on ($5/month when combined with Sling Orange, Sling Blue or any other Spanish-language regional service):

Discovery en Español provides Spanish-language programming focusing on story telling across genres, including adventure, ingenuity, natural history, investigation and current affairs. Best of Spanish TV customers can now watch programs like “Mexicanicos,” “Clandestino” and “Alaska: Hombres Primitivos.”

Discovery Familia is a Spanish-language network dedicated to Hispanic women and the things that matter in their lives. During the day, the Discovery Kids block provides a safe environment for children with entertaining programming, and in the evening, the channel offers programming for women, focusing on topics such as home décor, food, health, beauty and family.

Discovery Familia features shows like “Vestido de Novia,” “Los Busby” and “Remodelación en Pareja.”

“This partnership with Sling TV is another positive step towards ensuring our brands are reaching our fans no matter where they are watching,” said Eric Phillips, president of affiliate distribution at Discovery.

 

 

Pluto TV Adds Discovery Content

Ad-supported online TV platform Pluto TV has inked a non-exclusive licensing deal with Discovery for channels such as Discovery Channel, HGTV and Food Network, Animal Planet, ID, Discovery Life, Science Channel, and TLC, among others.

“Discovery is a renowned leader with premier programming that inspires and entertains all types of audiences. We are excited to introduce Discovery’s award-winning content to our viewers,” Amy Kuessner, SVP content partnerships, Pluto TV, said in a statement.

Indeed, connected TV video plays increased 145%, while viewing hours increased 103% in the third quarter, according to data from digital measurement firm Conviva.

Online TV platforms such as Sling TV, YouTube TV, DirecTV Now, Spectrum TV Plus, PlayStation Vue, Pluto TV and Fubo TV helped mushroom video plays 292%, including 212% increase in viewing hours from the previous-year period.

For Discovery, the Pluto deal follows similar arrangements signed in September with Dish Networks’ Sling TV and Hulu with Live TV.

“Having our world-class Discovery content as part of Pluto’s offering reinforces Discovery’s commitment to reach all viewers across all screens, platforms and devices,” said Gabriel Sauerhoff, SVP of digital distribution at Discovery.

 

Discovery, PGA Tour Launching Golf OTT Video Service Outside the U.S.

Golf is getting the global over-the-top video treatment.

Discovery and the PGA Tour Oct. 22 announced the pending launch of “GolfTV, powered by the PGA Tour,” an OTT video platform bowing outside the United States on Jan. 1, 2019 – and supplanting existing streaming venture PGA Tour Live.

GolfTV, which will debut in Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia and Spain,will offer more than 2,000 hours of live action annually as well as extensive premium content on-demand.

Live coverage will include nearly 150 tournaments operating under the PGA Tour – including The Players Championship, the FedEx Cup Playoffs and the Presidents Cup.

Additional country service launches include Poland and South Korea in 2020; Belgium, China, Germany and South Africa (2021); Denmark, Finland, India, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom (2022) and France (2024).

“Our long-term goal is to create a must-have experience that truly enhances the way global fans watch, play and engage with the game every day,” Alex Kaplan, president and GM, Discovery Golf, said in a statement.

The launch of GolfTV is part of a 12-year alliance between Discovery and the PGA Tour, announced in June, that includes management of the PGA Tour’s international multi-platform rights, including linear TV.

The PGA Tour and NBC Sports Group in July announced a multi-year digital partnership making NBC Sports Gold, the network’s digital direct-to-consumer live streaming product, the domestic home of PGA Tour Live, the PGA’s subscription video service.