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Discovery's portfolio of 11 TV channels to be dropped from StarHub after June 30

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After June 30, StarHub television subscribers will be losing up to 11 popular lifestyle channels including Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and TLC. Then, after August 31, channels such as Food Network, HGTV and Asian Food Channel will also be gone.

AFTER June 30, StarHub television subscribers could be losing seven popular lifestyle channels including Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and TLC. Then, after Aug 31, four more channels including Food Network, HGTV and Asian Food Channel could also be gone.

All of these channels fall under the Discovery brand, which is known for producing educational as well as entertaining lifestyle and science programmes.

In a statement sent by Discovery on Wednesday morning, the company said that this is happening because StarHub is "not prepared to pay fair value" for the content.

The release said: "In Discovery's recent negotiations with StarHub, we have unfortunately reached an impasse as StarHub is not prepared to pay fair value and have announced their decision to cease transmission of all 11 Discovery channels on their platform... We have a responsibility to now take the extraordinary step of informing our viewers that they may lose all the Discovery channels they are paying for on StarHub."

The announcement greatly affects StarHub subscribers of the company's "education" and "lifestyle" TV subscription groups as Discovery's channels make up a significant chunk of the packages.

A StarHub spokesman tells The Straits Times in response that the pay-TV operator is currently in renewal negotiations with Discovery and "are doing everything possible to arrive at a deal which would allow Discovery and StarHub to continue our partnership while offering our customers the same content at a reasonable price".

At the same time, StarHub says that it is "acquiring fresh replacement content in the event that negotiations prove unsuccessful".

Going forward, audiences can continue to watch Discovery's channels on the Singtel platform. A selection of Discovery programmes are also available on the Discovery Channel Asia website (www.discoverychannelasia.com).

In Singapore, Discovery's portfolio of channels reached a total of 1.3 million viewers in the last year.

THE STRAITS TIMES

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