BBC Studios and Discovery have announced the close of the UKTV transaction, announced on April 1, 2019.
Discovery formally takes over control of lifestyle channels Really, Home and Good Food and BBC Studios takes over entertainment channels Alibi, Dave, Drama, Eden, Gold, W and Yesterday, the UKTV brand, as well as the digital service UKTV Play.
As the UKTV deal closes, five channels from both businesses are moving into new positions on the Freeview EPG. Dave moves from 12 to 19, DMAX from 42 to 37, Home from 25 to 42, Quest from 37 to 12 and Yesterday from 19 to 25.
Marcus Arthur, President, UK & Ireland at BBC Studios and new CEO of UKTV said, “UKTV has always been an important part of the BBC Group, creating value for licence fee payers and British programme makers. 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.”
James Gibbons, EVP General Manager UK & ANZ at Discovery said, “Today marks an exciting milestone for Discovery, as we welcome UKTV’s lifestyle channels to our substantial UK portfolio. 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.”
In April, Discovery and BBC Studios also signed a ten-year content partnership deal making Discovery the exclusive global SVOD home (excluding UK, Ireland and Greater China) of BBC landmark natural history programmes, including Planet Earth, Blue Planet, Life and Dynasties. Discovery also acquired SVOD rights to hundreds of hours of BBC programming across factual genres.