Eurosport issues rallying call to Sky customers as it ups the pressure in pay dispute with broadcaster

Discovery Communication's 13 channels could soon leave Sky

Discovery’s standoff with Sky over negotiations for its portfolio of channels has intensified with Eurosport launching a social campaign calling on the public to pressure the broadcaster into paying a ‘fair’ price.

Negotiations over a new carriage deal with Eurosport’s owner, Discovery Communications, have reportedly broken down and could result in the 13 of the media company’s channels disappearing from Sky as soon as 1 February.

“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 of Discovery Networks.

Discovery maintains that Sky is now paying it less than it did 10 years ago, despite Sky households paying more, and has threatened to pull all of its channels including Eurosport, Discovery, Animal Planet and Discovery History, from Sky.

It has been critical of Sky’s huge investments in certain categories with Dinnage proclaiming that “pay television needs to be about more than just films and football”.

As the dispute drags on Discovery is now leveraging the criticism at Sky with the social media campaign #KeepDiscovery, and is calling on consumers to pressure Sky into ensuring that Discovery’s channels and programmes, which make up 50% of all viewing to the factual category on Sky, do not disappear.

The campaign has included a variety of Tweets which criticise Sky for neglecting content that is not football.

Other Tweets have featured top sports stars from some of the sports which Eurosport shows

In response to the campaign a Sky Spokesperson said: “Despite our best efforts to reach a sensible agreement, we, like many other platforms and broadcasters across Europe, have found the price expectations for the Discovery portfolio to be completely unrealistic. Discovery’s portfolio of channels includes many which are linear-only where viewing is falling."

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