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Sky, Discovery dispute heats up; full blackout looms

A Keep Discovery website is flashing a countdown for the remaining hours until Discovery Communications Inc.'s channels are pulled from Sky plc, TBI Vision reported Jan. 30.

The Discovery channels may cease airing on Sky in the U.K. and in Germany on Feb. 1 if the companies fail to reach an agreement, the report said.

In a statement over the weekend, Sky said that Discovery demanded to pay "close to £1 billion" for the renewal of its portfolio of channels.

Discovery, who has earlier threatened to pull its channels from the platform, denied Sky's claims, saying that the company is now paying less compared to 11 years ago, Variety reported Jan. 30.

"We have asked them for a few pennies extra per year for each Sky household," the report cited Discovery's statement.

Sky said in response that "we never left the negotiating table and they haven't come back to it since they made their threats public this week. ... If Discovery don't want their channels to disappear, as their public campaign suggests, they could have made arrangement to stay on Sky," the company concluded.