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Discovery buys Kiwi TV channels

Discovery’s buying spree has continued with the acquisition of two channels in New Zealand. The US-listed company has bought pay TV offerings The Living Channel and Food TV.

Both channels are carried on Sky in the country and will be added to Discovery’s Animal Planet and Discovery channels on the pay TV platform.

Mandy Pattinson, executive VP and general manager, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific said: “Working closely with our partners at Sky TV, the acquisition of The Living Channel and Food TV will provide us with a great opportunity to continue offering viewers the programs they know and love, as well as original lifestyle and food programming never before seen by New Zealand audiences.”

She added that locally-produced programming will be part of the plan for the channels: “We look forward to continuing to work alongside Sky TV on local New Zealand productions to ensure the channels remain uniquely Kiwi,” she said.

The Living Channel, founded in 2002, is programmed with lifestyle content. Food TV was then spun-off from The Living Channel in 2005.

Julie Christie, founder of TLCNZ, said: “Television is a global business and we are pleased to hand over the reins to a global player like Discovery whose knowledge and access to content will ensure the channels can remain at the forefront of lifestyle television.  Their commitment to keeping the channels ‘local’ ensures our viewers will still enjoy the content they love.”

No financial details were disclosed.

The deal marks the latest for Discovery in the international market. It has taken control of Eurosport and SBS as well as buying middle eastern foodie channel Fatafeat. With these acquisitions complete, the company is set to generate greater revenues from its international busines than its domestic US market.