StarHub may stop airing Discovery Network channels from July

StarHub may stop airing Discovery Network channels from July

starhub discovery network
Composite image of logos for Discovery network and StarHub. (Photo: Discovery Channel Southeast Asia/ Facebook, AFP) 

SINGAPORE: StarHub television subscribers might soon be unable to catch their favourite shows from eleven channels under the Discovery Network as negotiations between the two companies have been "unsuccessful", the telco announced on its website. 

Under an FAQ section on its website entitled "Cessation of Discovery Networks Channels", StarHub said that seven channels - Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Discovery Asia, Discovery Science, Eurosport and Setanta Sports - might no longer air from noon on Jun 30. 

Additionally, four more channels - the Asian Food Channel, HGTV, Travel Channel and Food Network - could cease transmission from noon on Aug 31. 

On its website, StarHub said: "We are working hard to negotiate a deal which would allow Discovery and StarHub to continue our partnership while offering our customers the same content at a reasonable price. 

"Unfortunately, at this juncture, as we are still unsuccessful in renewing the Discovery suite of channels. We seek to give our customers advance notice of potential channel changes. Hence, it is our duty to inform you that these channels will cease transmission at 12pm on Jun 30 and Aug 31 respectively (unless we are able to come to an agreement with Discovery)," the telco added. 

On whether customers can exit their TV contracts with the telco without any early termination charges following this development, StarHub said that it understands "the impact that the discontinuation of the channels may have" on customers and is "reviewing the matter". 

NEGOTIATIONS STILL ONGOING: STARHUB ​​​​​​​

In an emailed response to queries from Channel NewsAsia on Wednesday (Jun 6), a StarHub spokesperson confirmed that negotiations are still ongoing. 

Additionally, the spokesperson said that StarHub will be offering customers who subscribe to its lifestyle and/or education basic group S$4 off their TV subscription for three months.

The spokesperson added that all StarHub TV customers will also get a free preview of over 30 channels from the news, kids, education entertainment and lifestyle groups, from Jun 11 to Jul 15.

"From mid-June 2018, we will reach out progressively to customers subscribed to the education and/or lifestyle basic groups with letters to update them on the situation.

"If Discovery and StarHub have not reached an agreement by then, we will provide information on the new channels to be launched. We have carefully curated quality replacement channels, and hope that our customers will give the new channels a chance, to enjoy them and see if they are happy to continue viewing them," StarHub said. 

In an emailed response to queries from Channel NewsAsia, Discovery Network's Asia Pacific's vice president and general manager Shavkat Berdiev said that StarHub will cease transmission for all eleven of its channels by Aug 31.  

"Between now and then, we do hope that StarHub will come back to the negotiation table and resume discussions so that we can continue entertaining our fans on StarHub’s platforms," Mr Berdiev said.  

Meanwhile, the network said on its website that  the development "is not one we take lightly" and apologised to all its supporters for the inconvenience.

"In our negotiations with all our partners, we seek to obtain a fair price for the value of our channels. Unfortunately, we were not able to achieve this with StarHub, and as such StarHub has announced their decision to discontinue the channels offered by Discovery, on both StarHub TV and StarHub Go."  

However, the network added that it hopes to resume discussions with StarHub and encouraged StarHub customers to "voice support for their favourite Discovery channels and programmes". 

Source: CNA/am

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