Making what it calls its largest transaction in the company's history, Discovery Communications has made two significant European deals: acquiring
SBD Nordic and forming a strategic alliance with France's big TV group TF1.
Discovery says this amounts to a $2 billion investment and will make Discovery the largest pay TV programming in Europe.
Discovery will purchase ProSiebenSat.1 Group’s SBS Nordic operations, which include TV networks in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, for around $1.7 billion.
Mark Hollinger, president and CEO of Discovery Networks International, stated: “The acquisition of SBS Nordic is a continuation of Discovery’s more than 20-year strategy of investing internationally to build the most extensive global footprint in media, which now includes 153 networks in 217 countries and territories."
The deal with France's big TV Group, TF1, includes 20% equity stakes in TF1’s Eurosport Group and four pay-TV channels in France.
Eurosport is the biggest pan-European TV network, covering 130 million homes in 59 countries. Discovery can increase its stake in the Eurosport Group (Eurosport International and Eurosport France) to 51% in two years. The Eurosport transaction is valued at $222 million.
In addition, Discovery will become a shareholder in TF1's pay TV networks TV Breizh, Histoire, Ushuaïa TV and Stylía channels. It has a 20% interest in each, with the ability to increase to 49% in two years. This part of the deal is valued at $18 million.
The big Germany-based ProSiebenSat.1 Group has some 29 TV stations in its portfolio, which reach 62 million TV homes in Europe.