Discovery buys Turkish net, agrees strategic deal

Discovery Communications has agreed a strategic relationship with Turkey’s Doğuş Media Group to increase its portfolio to 13 channels and strengthen its ad sales offer.

Kasia KieliThe deal includes acquiring Doğuş-owned news and entertainment channel CNBC-e, marking Discovery’s first move into Turkish free-to-air broadcasting.

The agreement follows a period of growth for Discovery in the Turkish market, which includes the opening of a local office in 2012, full distribution across all major Turkish pay TV platforms, the launch of local advertising and continued investment in its channel portfolio.

The first step of this relationship will see Doğuş Media Group appointed as Discovery’s exclusive ad sales representative in Turkey, starting from September 1.

In partnership with James Gibbons, executive VP for Discovery’s emerging business region and Sissian Margos, in the newly created position of general manager for Discovery Networks Turkey, Doğuş will be responsible for selling Discovery’s entire commercial portfolio, including local versions of Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Discovery Science, as well as securing sponsorship opportunities from Turkish advertisers.

The CNBC-e acquisition, meanwhile, is expected to be concluded later this year.

“Discovery’s global success is based on building strong local teams and looking for new opportunities that build scale in key markets,” said Kasia Kieli, president and managing director, Discovery Networks Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa.

“Our expanded relationship with Doğuş, including ad sales representation, and new investments such as the acquisition of the CNBC-e channel, will see us reach the next level in Turkey.”

Doğuş is one of Turkey’s largest media group, owning both thematic and mainstream television channels.

“From the outset, Doğuş Media Group has set successful examples in the international arena by partnering with the world’s leading brands,” said Doğuş Media Group’s Chairman, Erman Yerdelen. “Today, we are proud to announce that Doğuş Media Group and one of the strongest media groups in the world, Discovery Communications, have reached an agreement on the mutual goal of growing and diversifying Discovery’s broadcasting portfolio in Turkey.

“With this strategic relationship, Discovery’s Turkish viewers will enjoy a greater variety of choice in entertainment.”

For Discovery, the deal comes soon after it agreed to buy the remaining shares in Eurosport it didn’t already own.