In a fairly major public dispute, broadcaster Discovery UK is threatening to pull its programming from Sky after accusing the service of “[refusing] to pay a fair price” for its 12 channels (which include Eurosport, Animal Planet, TLC and the Discovery Channel, among others).
In a statement, Discovery claims that it is currently paid less by Sky than it was a decade ago (despite the increased cost for customers since then), and has said that if the situation is not resolved by the end of the month they’ll pull all their channels from Sky.
Commenting that negotiations had “reached an impasse,” Discovery accused Sky of using its “dominant market position to further its own commercial interest,” adding that “the vitality of independent broadcasters like Discovery and plurality in TV is under threat.”
In response, a Sky spokesperson said: “Despite our best efforts to reach a sensible agreement, we, like many other platforms and broadcasters across Europe, have found the price expectations for the Discovery portfolio to be completely unrealistic.
“Sky has a strong track record of understanding the value of the content we acquire on behalf of our customers, and as a result we’ve taken the decision not to renew this contract on the terms offered.
A trailer for Discovery UK’s new series Idris Elba: Fighter
“We have been overpaying Discovery for years and are not going to anymore. We will now move to redeploy the same amount of money into content we know our customers value.”
Oh dear – if you’re a Sky customer, it looks like it might be time to work out a way of getting your Idris Elba: Fighter or Cake Boss fix somewhere else from next week.