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Denmark’s YouSee to drop Discovery channels as pair fail to agree deal

Danish telco and cable operator TDC/YouSee has said it will drop Discovery’s channels from its content line-up from the end of the year after failing to strike a new carriage deal with the factual giant.

Carriage disputes between distributors and Discovery have become increasingly common as the programming giant seeks to use its strong position to extract more revenue from partners. YouSee said that it is unable and unwilling to raise the price of fixed TV packages that are becoming less and less popular with subscribers. The company said that the demand of channel owners for higher payments each year against a backdrop of declining willingness to pay for packages had created a vicious circle of price increases leading to declines in subscriber numbers.

Jacob Mortensen, CEO of YouSee, said that the company had worked on a number of possible solutions with Discovery so that Discovery Networks content could continue to be offered as part of the service provider’s à la carte Bland Selv offerings as well as its fixed channel packages, including Discovery’s Kanal 5, which includes international qualifying football matches of the Danish national team.

“We have had a long-standing partnership with Discovery Networks, and we still want to have that. We have many customers who appreciate Discovery Networks content and we want to continue to have an agreement where all Discovery Networks channels are available in Bland Selv and where the national team qualification matches continue to be part of all our TV packages,” said Mortensen.