The companies’ announcement is short on details, but says that Discovery is engaged in “exclusive negotiations” that could result in a significant investment and alliance with the French media holding company. Discovery might help TF1′s Eurosport, the continent’s largest sports network which reaches 130M households. They’re also discussing a plan to enhance “both companies’ Pay TV offerings in France.” In addition, Discovery and TF1 said that they could develop “a mutually beneficial content production relationship.” The goal is to “create value for both companies across their numerous complementary business activities.” Discovery shares are up 2.3% in mid-afternoon trading.
Discovery’s international arm Discovery Networks International distributes 26 international brands, reaching more than 1.3 billion cumulative subs with programming available in 217 countries and territories in 45 languages. TF1 Group’s channels include France’s TF1 and terrestrial channel TMC, NT1, and soon-to-launch HD1. In addition to Eurosport, it runs TV Breizh, France’s No. 1 cable/satellite channel; Ushuaïa TV; Histoire; Stylía; and LCI.