I’m a little bit outraged by this. Probably about as outraged as I am by the History Channel having being allowed to associate themselves with history. Discovery Communications and Sky are at loggerheads. Think LUAS strike, but this is actually important. Ultimately, Irish Sky customers are set to lose twelve channels from 1st February. To make things worse, there pretty decent channels too.
What channels will Irish customers lose?
How big a deal this is, really does depend on your viewing habits. For me, this is a bit of a disaster. I love the channels that these guys run. Come on, they brought us Mythbusters which only recently spawned White Rabbit Project on Netflix.
From 1 February, Discovery are unlikely to be available in Sky TV packages
But let’s be somewhat serious here. These aren’t some of the filler channels between the news 500s and the grown-up stuff in the 900s. Discovery Communication has a great suite of channels on Sky:
Discovery Home & Health
As you can see, that’s a fairly solid selection of channels right there. It’s worth noting that Virgin Media will remain unaffected throughout this.
What programmes will Irish Sky customers miss out on?
The famous Williams sisters are set to take each other on in the final of the Australian Open this week. Eurosport has been bringing us coverage of this tournament. If you’re lucky, the final might be one of the last major tournaments you catch on Eurosport if you’re a Sky customer. Worse still, Eurosport is set to have the rights to the lion’s share of Olympic coverage in the coming years.
Idris Elba’s latest documentary is called Fighter. This follows the Luther actor through his attempts to become a competitive fighter. The first episode was great but should this Discovery Communications and Sky battle not be resolved, you’ll be doing well to get passed the third episode. Fighter is just one of the latest hits on Discovery. You’ll also be missing out on re-runs of the best ways to kill time, namely Mythbusters and How it’s Made. Take this video that means you’ll never eat a hotdog again.
Not How it’s Made! Why is this happening?
Basically, Sky have paid Discovery Communications less every year for the last while. During the same period, Sky has been charging customers more every year. Discovery Communications are peeved by this.
— Discovery Channel UK (@DiscoveryUK) January 26, 2017
What are the chances of this being averted?
It certainly does have a feel about it that this can’t happen. Surely? The Discovery Channel was the first thing I went to when Sky got installed in my house. Discovery is going heavy on the “it’s not our fault” approach. Over in Sky HQ, some poor person has had to explain something on the website. The result is some pretty flakey explanations as to what’s going on. Sky’s site states that from 1 February, Discovery is unlikely to be available in Sky TV packages.
Sky are well aware of the situation’s severity too. They have sections dedicated to informing annoyed customers that there’s plenty else to watch. This is far from cutting it for customers who are, quite rightly, seeking a reduction in their bill for the loss of channels.
— Chalky (@chalky1901) January 26, 2017
It’ll be interesting to see if this all means that Irish Sky customers can jump ship on their contracts. As is often the case, there is a fair chance this is grounds to exit your contract with Sky – no questions asked. But as I said above, I’ve a feeling this won’t go the distance. Sure that would be like Virgin Media losing BT Sports or something.