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Channel Blackout Looms Amid Discovery & StarHub Spat


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StarHub subscribers could lose access to Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, TLC, Discovery Science, Discovery Asia, Eurosport and Setanta, among other channels, if a carriage agreement is not reached between the organizations.

Discovery and StarHub have reached an impasse in their negotiations. Discovery claims that StarHub “is not prepared to pay fair value,” and the platform has announced its decision to cease transmission of all 11 Discovery channels. “All we are asking for is the equivalent of a cup of coffee per customer per month,” Discovery said.

After June 30, StarHub subscribers will no longer be able to watch Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, TLC, Discovery Science, Discovery Asia, Eurosport and Setanta on both StarHub TV and streaming service StarHub Go. Discovery’s expanded lifestyle offering—with the recent addition of HGTV, Asian Food Channel, Food Network and Travel Channel—will no longer be available on StarHub platforms after August 31.

“Despite StarHub’s announcement, we still hope to resume discussions so that StarHub viewers can continue to enjoy their much-loved shows from Discovery,” the company said. “In the meantime, fans can still watch Discovery’s channels on Singtel TV. Singtel subscribers currently enjoy Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, TLC, Discovery Science, Discovery Asia, Eve, DMAX, and Eurosport on other broadcast platforms in Singapore. In addition, a selection of Discovery programmes and previous seasons of hit series are available via Discovery Watch Now/Discovery Watch Now Binge on the Discovery Channel Asia website.”

StarHub released a statement as well: “We are in renewal negotiations with Discovery and we are doing everything possible to arrive at a deal which would allow Discovery and StarHub to continue our partnership while offering our customers the same content at a reasonable price.

“Our customers are our top priority and we are working hard to ensure that they can enjoy an uninterrupted viewing experience. Concurrently, we are acquiring fresh replacement content in the event that negotiations prove unsuccessful. If we are unable to agree on a renewal, the seven Discovery Networks channels will cease transmission on 30 June 2018 and we will announce the launch of several new channels to ensure our customers will continue to enjoy access to a good range of education and lifestyle channels. This will be carried out in the coming weeks. We assure customers that we remain committed to providing them with a comprehensive range of quality content across genres.

“We value all our customers and we appreciate their business. While we continue to negotiate with Discovery, we would like to show our appreciation to all our customers by offering them a free preview of 28 channels over five genres from 11 June to 15 July 2018 to thank them for their support. This includes channels such as Animax, AXN, BBC Earth, BBC Lifestyle, BBC World News, Blue Ant Entertainment, Blue Ant Extreme, Bloomberg, CBeebies, Crime + Investigation, CNBC, Comedy Central Asia, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, DIVA, E! Entertainment, FYI, H2, HISTORY, HITS, Lifetime, Love Nature, MTV Asia, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr, Smithsonian Channel and Sony Channel. We are working on adding more channels on free preview and hope to add to this list over the next few days.

“We look forward to sharing more details on this matter in due course. Once again, we thank our customers for their patience and understanding.”



About Kristin Brzoznowski

Kristin Brzoznowski is the executive editor of World Screen. She can be reached at kbrzoznowski@worldscreen.com.

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