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Discovery acquires two NZ local channels
Discovery Communications announced on July 3 that it has acquired The Living Channel New Zealand Limited (TLCNZ), which operates New Zealand pay TV channels The Living Channel and Food TV.

Discovery currently distributes two channels through broadcast platform SKY TV - Discovery Channel and Animal Planet. This acquisition further solidifies Discovery's commitment to the New Zealand market, increasing its presence to a robust four-channel portfolio encompassing factual entertainment and lifestyle.

“Discovery has a proven track record of producing and investing in original factual and lifestyle programming that resonates globally,” said Mandy Pattinson, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific. “Working closely with our partners at SKY TV, the acquisition of The Living Channel and Food TV will provide us with a great opportunity to continue offering viewers the programmes they know and love, as well as original lifestyle and food programming never before seen by New Zealand audiences. We look forward to continuing to work alongside SKY TV on local New Zealand productions to ensure the channels remain uniquely Kiwi.”

The Living Channel (Sky digital 8) is an inspirational, informative and entertaining lifestyle channel with programmes from home renovation, real estate, gardening and celebrity travel genres, and was founded in 2002. Food TV (Sky digital 9) spun off from The Living Channel in 2005, and satisfies the cravings of foodies with programmes from personalities such as Heston Blumenthal, Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson and Rick Stein.

John Fellet, Chief Executive Officer, SKY TV, said: “The SKY team would firstly like to thank and congratulate Julie Christie on her creation of two popular niche channels that have found a loyal audience on SKY. With The Living Channel and Food TV becoming part of the Discovery Networks stable I know they will continue to offer great viewing with plenty of local shows that our New Zealand audience really enjoys.”

Julie Christie, Founder of TLCNZ, said: “Television is a global business and we are pleased to hand over the reins to a global player like Discovery whose knowledge and access to content will ensure the channels can remain at the forefront of lifestyle television. Their commitment to keeping the channels ‘local' ensures our viewers will still enjoy the content they love. We thank John Fellet and the team at SKY TV for a great partnership over the past 12 years and I personally look forward to working with Discovery on enhancing the channels in the near future.”

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