People/Biz

BBC Studios, Discovery complete UKTV channels transaction

BBC Studios, the commercial entity of UK pubcaster the BBC, and American media conglomerate Discovery Inc. have completed their transaction to divide the channels of UKTV, their joint British venture. Under ...
June 12, 2019

BBC Studios, the commercial entity of UK pubcaster the BBC, and American media conglomerate Discovery Inc. have completed their transaction to divide the channels of UKTV, their joint British venture.

Under the terms of the completed deal, first announced in April, Discovery formally takes full control of lifestyle channels Good Food, Home and Really.

BBC Studios, meanwhile, takes over entertainment channels Alibi, Dave, Drama, Eden, Gold, W and Yesterday, the UKTV brand, as well as the digital service UKTV Play.

James Gibbons (pictured left), EVP and GM of UK/Ireland/ANZ & commercial development for Discovery EMEA, will now oversee the lifestyle channels as part of Discovery’s UK portfolio.

Marcus Arthur (right), president of UK, Ireland & ANZ at BBC Studios Distribution, now assumes the role of CEO at UKTV.

In April, Discovery and BBC Studios also signed a 10-year content partnership that made Discovery the exclusive global SVOD home (excluding UK, Ireland and Greater China) of BBC landmark natural history programs. These include Planet EarthBlue PlanetLife and Dynasties. Discovery also acquired SVOD rights to hundreds of hours of BBC programming across factual genres.

“UKTV has always been an important part of the BBC Group, creating value for licence fee payers and British programme makers,” said Arthur in a statement. “UKTV’s award-winning brands, innovative commissions and premium acquisitions have delivered large and loyal audiences who love great TV. As a wholly-owned part of BBC Studios we will support its future content ambitions, building on its history of success over many years.”

“We are committed to deepening our position with viewers as the leader in real life entertainment by building great brands that power people’s passions and deliver value to our partners,” added Gibbons.

Discovery obtained a 50% stake in British multi-channel broadcaster UKTV following its acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive last year.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news editor at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joined the RS team in 2015 with experience in journalism following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and with communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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