Singapore telco StarHub is to axe Discovery channels from its pay-TV platform, following the breakdown of negotiations between the two companies.
The affected channels – Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, TLC, Discovery Asia, Discovery Science, Eurosport and Setanta Sports will be dropped on 30 June. Two months later, on 31 August, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel and Asian Food Channel could also follow suit.
“We always work towards meeting our customers’ entertainment needs and minimising any inconvenience to them. Hence, we are disappointed that we were not able to reach an agreement with Discovery,” said Lee Soo Hui, head of content business unit at StarHub.
“Our firm belief is that quality content should come at a sensible price, without our customers having to bear (an) unsustainable increase in costs.”
US based entertainment company Discovery said negotiations had “unfortunately reached an impasse as Star Hub is not prepared to pay fair value” for its programmes.
Discovery channels currently represent 12% of StarHub’s English pay-TV offer.
The cable operator said it would add more channels and add them without charge to subscribers, with one reported to be CuriosityStream HD. Meanwhile, StarHub TV customers can also access more than 30 channels from the News, Kids, Education, Entertainment and Lifestyle basic groups, for free until 15 July.
Rival network Singtel TV offers Discovery Channel and TLC, while other Discovery content can be accessed via the Discovery Networks Asia website.
Last year Discovery’s portfolio of channels reached a total of 1.3 million viewers in Singapore.