Discovery expands in Korea with Skylifetv content pact

Discovery is partnering with Korean Telecom to launch a production unit for premium non-scripted Korean entertainment.

The partnership between Discovery and Korean Telecom’s Skylifetv will launch by year’s end and is to deliver content that will air across Skylifetv’s portfolio of channels, as well as Discovery Korea and Discovery’s global network.

The JV will be responsible for distributing all content.

The deal comes as Skylifetv – which operates eight channels, including skyDrama, skyENT and skySports – continues to ramp up investment in originals. This year, the business launched such programmes as Welcome To My House, Fresh Husband, Song And Kim’s Top Movies and We Play.

Discovery has been aggressively expanding in Asia. As revealed by TBI, the business is preparing to launch an Indian streaming service next year, building on its success with local news aggregation giant DailyHunt.

Hyun-Mo Koo, president of KT Customer & Media, said: “This JV establishment with Discovery is a major milestone for Korea’s local content industry and brings a wind of change in [the ecosystem of] Korean entertainment programmes for consumers.

“We are re-imagining various strategies to grow our original IP market and relying on the whole group [of] companies to try partnership initiatives collectively. I believe this partnership marks the signal flare for various collaborations opportunities with Discovery ahead.”

Simon Robinson, president of Discovery Networks Asia Pacific and CFO of Discovery Networks International, added: “This partnership between our Asia Pacific business and Korea Telecom Group’s SkylifeTV underscores Discovery’s unrivalled expertise in creating high-quality real-life entertainment for local and global audiences and leverages a fantastic opportunity for our two companies to create original content specifically for Korean audiences.

“I believe we are uniquely positioned to produce original, high quality content that will engage, inspire and inform Korean and international audiences. This content partnership will also shine a spotlight on the innovation coming from the Korean creative industries and spark additional international curiosity and interest in Korean content.”

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