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Discovery, BBC Studios Team for New SVOD Service

Discovery, BBC Studios Team for New SVOD Service

Discovery has signed a series of long-term agreements with BBC Studios including a multimillion-dollar content partnership and 10-year deal that will see the launch of a new global SVOD service in 2020, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

As part of the deal, Discovery will become the exclusive global home of BBC’s natural history programs including “Planet Earth,” “Life” and “Blue Planet” for SVOD. The “Dynasties” series and future BBC landmark series will also be included, according to THR.

The deal also means BBC content to be taken off Netflix.

"The fact that that [BBC] content will now be coming off of Netflix is important to us,” says David Zaslav, president and chief executive officer, Discovery. “The Netflix brand stands for scripted series and scripted movies. That's what Disney is, that's what HBO is. That's what Showtime is. We have a very different, more targeted approach, which is the greatest natural history [content] on Earth. Having that come off Netflix is important.”

The partnership gives Discovery SVOD rights to hundreds of hours of BBC programming, spanning territories outside of the U.K., Ireland and Greater China, THR reports.

"It will be unconventional,” says Zaslav. “In spirit, it will be like a natural history Netflix. But in practice, for people interested in the Serengeti or the moon, there will be a number of series they can see, people they can talk to, podcasts where they can learn more."

Discovery and BBC have also inked a deal to divide the British channels in their joint venture UKTV. UKTV’s seven entertainment channels will be taken over by BBC Studios. UKTV's lifestyle channels–including Good Food, Home and Really–will be taken over by Discovery.

BBC Studios will pay roughly $225 million to Discovery as part of the deal, according to THR.

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