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Discovery takes linear channel online

FIA World Rallycross ChampionshipDiscovery’s Quest channel has started live streaming, the first time the channel operator has taken a linear service online in this way.

The online Quest will be available in the UK and Ireland and this weekend will have live coverage of the FIA World Rallycross Championship.

Discovery largely owns all rights to shows on its channels, giving it the freedom to launch them in other windows and on other platforms without having to clear additional rights.

The company told TBI that the programming line-up will be exactly the same online as on linear. Quest shows include Bear Grylls: Born Survivor, Wheeler Dealers and Discovery staple Deadliest Catch.

Quest already makes some shows available to watch online through its on demand and catch up service, but has not previously made the full channel available online. The linear Quest channel is carried on the Freeview DTT platform and on free-to-air satellite in the UK.

“This is a further evolution of our digital presence that allows our audience to watch what, where and when they want,” said Quest chief Simon Downing.

“Streaming Quest live online to complement our linear, catch-up and on-demand services is a milestone in the continued growth of the channel which will pave the way to reach even bigger audiences. The start of what promises to be a thrilling Rallycross season is the perfect occasion to go live online, bringing all the action direct to your devices.”

Making a key sports event such as Rallycross available on linear and online could mark an effort to experiment with how sports events are distributed. Discovery owns Eurosport, which has an online player, and has snagged multiplatform rights to the Olympics. It has pledged to make the games the first ‘digital Olympics’.