Discovery acquires two channels in New Zealand

The U.S. cable giant is expanding its presence in New Zealand with the takeover of pay-TV channels The Living Channel and Food TV.
July 2, 2014

Discovery Communications has taken over New Zealand pay-TV channels The Living Channel and Food TV.

The acquisition of the networks’ parent The Living Channel New Zealand Limited (TLCNZ) expands the American cable giant’s presence in the country where it already distributes Discovery Channel and Animal Planet through broadcast platform Sky TV.

The Living Channel (Sky digital 8) is a lifestyle channel that airs programming about home renovation, real estate, gardening and celebrity travel. It was founded in 2002.

Meanwhile, Food TV (Sky digital 9) is a spin-off of The Living Channel that launched in 2005. Its food-centric programming has featured TV personalities such as Heston Blumenthal, Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson and Rick Stein.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Working closely with our partners at Sky TV, the acquisition of The Living Channel and Food TV will provide us with a great opportunity to continue offering viewers the programs they know and love, as well as original lifestyle and food programming never before seen by New Zealand audiences,” said Mandy Pattinson, EVP and general manager, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands for Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to work alongside SKY TV on local New Zealand productions to ensure the channels remain uniquely Kiwi.”

“Television is a global business and we are pleased to hand over the reins to a global player like Discovery whose knowledge and access to content will ensure the channels can remain at the forefront of lifestyle television,” added TLCNZ founder Julie Christie.¬†“Their commitment to keeping the channels ‘local’ ensures our viewers will still enjoy the content they love.”

The deal is Discovery’s latest international channels acquisition. Last year, the company completed its takeover of SBS Nordic’s 12 TV networks, radio stations and digital brands in a US$1.7 billion deal.

In January, Discovery upped its stake in pan-European sports network Eurosport International from 20 percent to a controlling interest of 51 percent.

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