Discovery is threatening to pull its channels from cable company Sky in the UK following disputes over its carriage deal, potentially leaving more than 5.5 million homes without any its content.
Despite gaining an increase in viewers by 20%, Discovery alleges that Sky is paying the media company less for its content than it had 10 years ago, according to a statement. The network has said it has also increased investment in original content by 30% since 2010, adding new channels to its mix, including TLC and Investigation Discovery.
“We believe Sky is using what we consider to be its dominant market position to further its own commercial interest over those of viewers and independent broadcasters,” said Susanna Dinnage, managing director, Discovery Networks UK and Ireland, in a statement. “The vitality of independent broadcasters like discovery and plurality in TV is under threat…Pay television needs to be about more than just films and football. The consumer cant’ expect to fund all of sky’s investment and get less and less choice in return.”
She further added that Discovery is looking to “recognize the value” of its portfolio.
While Sky has not returned request for comment at press time, in a statement to Variety, the cable co said it found the price for Discovery’s portfolio to be unrealistic considering the decline in linear viewership, adding the U.K. company has been overpaying for the content “for years.” In response, it will not be renewing the contract under the current terms.