Under the terms of the agreement, the top-rating Discovery Channel programming block on ZDF will continue, with ZDF acquiring 80 hours of non-fiction programming per year from DCI. In addition, the agreement provides for the co-production of at least 16 hours of non-fiction programming and the acquisition of ZDF-produced documentary programming by Discovery Channel Germany. Alexander Coridass, President and Chief Executive Officer of ZDF Enterprises and Patrick Hoerl, General Manager of Discovery Channel Betriebs GmbH made the announcement.
"Our common success proves that the decision for a strategic partnership between DCI, ZDF and ZDF Enterprises was a powerful, farsighted and right one," said Alexander Coridass, President and Chief Executive Officer of ZDF Enterprises.
"Our ongoing partnership with ZDF has produced both an impressive body of high quality productions and an increased awareness for the Discovery Channel brand in Germany," said Patrick Hoerl. "ZDF’s nonfiction production and programming expertise make them an ideal partner to help extend the Discovery experience for German viewers."
Originally launched in 1998, the Discovery Channel branded programming block on ZDF’s broadcast channel in Germany has consistently garnered strong ratings share and growth. Airing Monday through Thursday, the block is programmed under the editorial control of ZDF programmers, with content provided by DCI. Throughout the renewal term, ZDF will acquire a total of 200 hours from DCI. In turn, DCI will license 60 hours of ZDF programming for transmission on the Discovery Channel’s pay TV service in Germany, as well as on DCI’s various international program services.
In addition, DCI and ZDF will collaborate on eight productions per year. The companies will jointly develop program concepts and DCI will co-finance and hold the exclusive pay-TV rights for the productions on Discovery Channel worldwide.
ZDF Enterprises is a subsidiary of ZDF German Television Network, one of Europe’s largest television broadcasters, and prime-time leader in Germany. In addition to distributing and marketing ZDF’s diverse library of original programming both nationally and internationally, ZDF Enterprises acquires programming for the German speaking territories and beyond, and initiates and pursues co-production opportunities. The Company is headquartered in Mainz, Germany and maintains offices in New York to supervise its North American operations.
Since July 1996 DISCOVERY CHANNEL transmits in Germany and Austria on pay-TV 24 hours per day on PREMIERE. In Switzerland DISCOVERY CHANNEL can be received through the pay-TV platform TELECLUB DIGITAL since May 2002.
Discovery Communications, Inc. is the leading global real-world media and entertainment company. DCI has grown from its core property, the Discovery Channel, first launched in the United States in 1985, to current global operations in more than 155 countries and territories with over 935 million cumulative subscribers. DCI’s 33 networks of distinctive programming represent 14 entertainment brands including TLC, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery Kids and a family of newer, targeted channels. DCI’s other properties consist of Discovery.com and 167 Discovery Channel retail stores. DCI also distributes BBC America in the United States. DCI’s ownership consists of four shareholders: Liberty Media Corporation (NYSE: L), Cox Communications, Inc. (NYSE: COX), Advance/Newhouse Communications and John S. Hendricks, the Company’s Founder, Chairman and CEO.