Singaporean pay TV operator StarHub is looking to revamp its content lineup as it discontinues a suite of channels from Discovery Networks in favor of Canadian lifestyle channel Gusto TV.
As part of the channel shuffle, StarHub will remove its Discovery Network channels in two phases, beginning on June 30 and then again on Aug. 31.
As part of the company’s channel revamp, the Singaporean telecom will be removing a batch of channels from Discovery’s catalog, including Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Discovery Asia, Discovery Science, Eurosport and Setanta Sports. These will disappear on June 30.
Further channels that will cease to exist on StarHub include Asian Food Channel, Food Network, HGTV HD, and Travel Channel, all halting on Aug. 31.
“We always work towards meeting our customers’ entertainment needs and minimizing any inconvenience to them. Hence, we are disappointed that we were not able to reach an agreement with Discovery,” said Lee Soo Hui, head of content business unit at StarHub, in a statement. “Our firm belief is that quality content should come at a sensible price, without our customers having to bear unsustainable increase in costs.”
With regard to the news and press release distributed by StarHub, Shavkat Berdiev, VP and general manager, Southeast Asia, Discovery Networks Asia Pacific said in a statement:
“In all our negotiations, we seek fair value for our content, but unfortunately this was deemed unsustainable by StarHub so they announced their decision to discontinue carriage of our channels. We did not inflate our rates even though our renewal included an expanded lifestyle offering with the addition of HGTV, Asian Food Channel, Food Network and Travel Channel. While this is not the outcome that we had hoped for, the value of our brands is something that we will not compromise.”
Meanwhile, StarHub has signed up a slate of seven new brand channels: CuriosityStream, Travelxp, Gusto TV, Makeful, Gem, Fight Sports and Colors Tamil, which will be launched progressively in the coming months, starting July 3.
“The channels were handpicked as they are enjoying growing viewership and popularity in overseas markets and we are confident that they can repeat this success with our customers,” Hui added. “As this marks the debut of some of these channels in Asia, we are thrilled that StarHub TV customers will be the first in the region to experience and enjoy their unique content.”