Discovery Communications has agreed to form a strategic relationship with Doğuş Media Group, one of the leading media groups in Turkey, making the media company its ad sales representative in the country and agreeing to purchase its free-to-air CNBC-e channel.
The moves will increase Discovery’s portfolio in Turkey to 13 channels and expands on a relationship the programmer has had in Turkey for years – it most recently opened a local office in in the country in 2012 and has full distribution across all major Turkish pay-TV platforms.
“Turkey has been an important market for Discovery for 17 years and we are proud of our position as one of the leading international broadcasters in the country,” said Discovery Networks, Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa president and managing director Kasia Kieli in a statement. “Discovery’s global success is based on building strong local teams and looking for new opportunities that build scale in key markets. Our expanded relationship with Doğuş, including ad sales representation, and new investments such as the acquisition of the CNBC-e channel, will see us reach the next level in Turkey.”
Doğuş will become Discovery’s exclusive ad sales representative in Turkey starting Sept.1 and will be responsible for selling Discovery’s entire commercial portfolio, including local versions of Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Discovery Science, as well as securing sponsorship opportunities from Turkish advertisers. In this segment, Discovery Emerging Business EVP James Gibbons will work in close partnership with Discovery Networks Turkey, Doğuş general manager Sissian Margos. In that newly created position, Margos will oversee all processes related to the collaboration with Doğuş and will provide strategic leadership on the ground. Margos has successfully managed Discovery’s Turkish business for the last three years in her former position of Commercial Director, supervising the opening of Discovery’s local office in 2012 and its commercial success to date.
Discovery has also agreed to buy Dogus’ free-to-air news and entertainment channel CNBC-e for an undisclosed sum. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year and the channel will continue to air as is and be operated by the existing team during the interim.
“Turkey is a dynamic TV market where free-to-air plays a crucial role,” Gibbons said in a statement. “With the addition of a free-to-air channel in our portfolio of documentary, factual entertainment and sports channels, we will have a stronger offering for our viewers and commercial partners, and we look forward to working alongside Doğuş to increase the scale of our business in Turkey.”
Discovery has increasingly concentrated on the international market, which now accounts for more than half its total revenue. In Turkey, four of Discovery Networks’ channels rank within the top 10 most frequently watched pay TV channels in the country. According to Ipsos Affluent Survey Europe 2015, Discovery Channel is the No. 1 international channel in Turkey among affluent male viewers based on viewing in the last 12 months.
“Doğuş Media Group holds a leading position in the Turkish television industry through the ownership of both thematic and mainstream television channels, as a Turkish media conglomerate that has demonstrated a consistent growth record since 1996,” said Doğuş Media Group’s Chairman, Erman Yerdelen in a statement. “From the outset, Doğuş Media Group has set successful examples in the international arena by partnering with the world’s leading brands. Today, we are proud to announce that Doğuş Media Group and one of the strongest media groups in the world, Discovery Communications, have reached an agreement on the mutual goal of growing and diversifying Discovery’s broadcasting portfolio in Turkey. With this strategic relationship, Discovery’s Turkish viewers will enjoy a greater variety of choice in entertainment.”