Sky and Discovery reach a deal – but the war of words isn't over

Jasper Jolly
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2012 Winter TCA Tour - Day 10
Executives at Discovery have had a public fall-out with Sky (Source: Getty)

Discovery and Sky have reached a last-minute deal in a very public spat which had threatened to see popular channels removed from the satellite TV provider.

Discovery had threatened to pull its channels after it was dissatisfied with the price Sky had initially offered. The end-of-month deal ensures that its channels, which also include Eurosport and Animal Planet, continue to be available to Sky’s television customers.

Sky claimed the deal was identical to an earlier proposal, but Discovery immediately denied this was the case.

Read more: Celebrities take aim at Sky in bid to #keepdiscovery channels

A Discovery spokesman said: “The deal we reached with Sky is meaningfully better than our former agreement and their proposal. Furthermore, our new arrangement enables us to control our destiny in more ways, with even more opportunities to invest and launch channels and consumer services."

Yet Sky’s UK and Ireland chief executive claimed the apparently identical deal represented a “good outcome” for customers. Stephen van Rooyen said: “The deal has been concluded on the right terms after Discovery accepted the proposal we gave them over a week ago.”

Discovery had previously criticised Sky, saying it was "somebody has to stand up for consumers" in their pricing dispute.

The content provider gained the backing of a host of celebrities on Twitter, including Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jimmy White, Katie Hopkins and Colin Murray.

Susanna Dinnage, managing director of Discovery Networks UK, said: “Our fans’ voices were heard loud and clear.”

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