AT&T and Discovery Communications on Thursday said they had extended their distribution deal for several years. The pact gives Discovery coverage for its 13 domestic channels across AT&T-owned satellite TV provider DirecTV and its U-verse platform, while AT&T gets expanded streaming, video-on-demand (VOD) and TV Everywhere rights to Discovery content.
The deal comes at a time when it’s becoming more and more difficult for cable-network operators to convince distributors to pay them the fees they have come to expect for their networks. The rapid rise of cord-cutting and streaming on-demand services has put the financial structure of the cable business under a great deal of pressure.
“We are pleased that we were able to get a win-win deal done with the largest distributor in the country,” said Eric Phillips, president of domestic distribution for Discovery Communications, in a statement. “Our agreement greatly expands the AT&T platforms that will distribute our award-winning content, including future distribution on DirecTV Now for our portfolio of brands.”
DirecTV plans to launch its new streaming service, DirecTV Now, in the fourth quarter.
“By adding the Discovery networks to the growing DirecTV Now lineup, we are continuing to build a streaming service for the connected generation that we believe will be second-to-none in the industry,” said Dan York, chief content officer for AT&T.
READ MORE: Variety
[Image of Gold Rush courtesy of Discovery]