New European 3D launch for Discovery

Discovery has inked its second major 3D programming deal in Europe, our sister publication TBI has revealed. The company’s Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA) division has cut a deal with Digiturk, which will take a raft of Discovery’s 3D content.

The Turkish digital pay TV platform’s linear 3D channel rolls out tomorrow and Discovery’s programming will be available on the channel and on demand.
The deal is the first for Discovery in Europe outside the UK, where its 3D content is carried on BSkyB and Virgin Media’s services. Discovery’s full channel bouquet is carried on the DSmart platform in Turkey and it has channels on the Teledunya pay TV service.

“We are helping to define Digiturk’s 3D proposition,” Caleb Weinstein, senior vice-president and general manager of distribution at Discovery Networks EMEA told TBI. “It will be a showcase channel and factual is one part of that – 3D offers the opportunity to reinvent storytelling in factual.”

Discovery programming on the Digiturk 3D service will include Forgotten Planet, The Haunted, I Almost Got Away With It and Oceana Air Show.

There will be more 3D launches along similar lines in Europe as pay TV platforms launch new 3D services, but a full Discovery 3D channel is not about to roll out.

“We are always looking to develop new products, but we are waiting to see the opportunities, interest and consumer demand beyond the US,” Weinstein said.

“We always look to support operators when they launch services and go after incremental ARPU from their subscribers,” he said. “Even if operators do not want to allocate the bandwidth to [several] 3D channels yet, we want to work with them in a flexible manner.”

Discovery is a partner alongside Sony and Imax in the US linear 3D channel 3Net. Discovery and Sony sell the original programming that runs on that channel and Weinstein said it is inclined to ink volume deals with operators rather than sell the content on a piecemeal basis.