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  • FIRST POST
    • jasonwatkins
    • By jasonwatkins 25th Jan 17, 9:56 PM
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    jasonwatkins
    Sky Fail To Reach Agreement With Discovery
    • #1
    • 25th Jan 17, 9:56 PM
    Sky Fail To Reach Agreement With Discovery 25th Jan 17 at 9:56 PM
    MoneySavingExpert insert:

    We've published a news story on this. Read it here:

    'Sky TV customers set to lose 13 channels next week - can you get a refund or cancel penalty-free?'

    Back to jasonwatkins' original thread...


    ---

    Sorry if there's a thread about this but I did look. Apparently Sky and Discovery have failed to reach a carriage agreement over their channels and they will be removed from the Variety Pack at some point in early Feb.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/sky-viewers-lose-12-channels-9693860

    I would assume that this would mean you could cancel your contract with them without penalty ?
    Last edited by Former MSE Andrea; 27-01-2017 at 9:39 AM.
Page 1
    • mije1983
    • By mije1983 25th Jan 17, 10:58 PM
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    mije1983
    • #2
    • 25th Jan 17, 10:58 PM
    • #2
    • 25th Jan 17, 10:58 PM
    Their terms seem to say not, but whether that would hold up is another question.

    The Service may change, as it is variable. (We can) change, withdraw or interrupt the Channels you receive in your Service. Your chosen Option may offer you a variety of Channels which are broadcast by various broadcasters, including Sky. (We) cannot guarantee the availability of any particular Channel or programme.
    No doubt a last minute agreement will be reached. Discovery are just playing the same game of bluff (albeit on a much larger scale!) we all do with Sky every year to get a better price! Who will blink first?

    • jasonwatkins
    • By jasonwatkins 25th Jan 17, 11:12 PM
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    jasonwatkins
    • #3
    • 25th Jan 17, 11:12 PM
    • #3
    • 25th Jan 17, 11:12 PM
    Their terms seem to say not, but whether that would hold up is another question.

    No doubt a last minute agreement will be reached. Discovery are just playing the same game of bluff (albeit on a much larger scale!) we all do with Sky every year to get a better price! Who will blink first?
    Originally posted by mije1983
    The T's & C's of Sky Q seem to tell a different story .. the BiB in particular.

    13. Changing this contract
    13.1. We may change or add to the conditions for any of the following reasons:
    (a) We change, alter, improve or add to our TV services;
    (b) We intend to change the way we structure our products and services;
    (c) We change the way we provide products and services to you (for example, we develop new technology to provide you with a better TV viewing experience);
    (d) To help improve the security and operation of our technical infrastructure (for example, to prevent misuse of our digital satellite platform);
    (e) We reorganise the way we structure or run our business;
    (f) To introduce new charges where the cost of running our business increases;
    (g) Valid legal or regulatory reasons; or
    (h) To make our conditions clearer or easier to understand, to reflect changes in law or to update our contracts from time to time so all our customers are on the same conditions.
    13.2. We provide TV services on an ongoing basis and we cannot foresee what may change in the future. This means we may make changes or additions to any of the conditions for reasons other than those set out in condition 13.1 above.
    13.3. If you reasonably consider that you would be materially disadvantaged by a change or addition to the conditions you may end this contract under condition 14.4, even if you are within your minimum term for a Sky Q subscription package and you will not have to pay any early termination charges.
    13.4. We will notify you in writing at least 31 days before any changes or additions to the conditions of this contract come into effect unless we are required to make changes or additions immediately for valid legal or regulatory reasons in which case we will try to give you as much reasonably notice as possible

    When you can end a TV service 14.4. You may end this contract or the affected TV service(s), including during your minimum term (where applicable), immediately by giving us notice within 21 days of us or SSSL telling you that we are going to:
    (a) Change these conditions under condition 13 and you reasonably consider that you would be materially disadvantaged by this;
    (b) Change the conditions of the ĎThe agreement for the loan of Sky Q boxes and the Sky Q hubí that relate to loaned equipment you use to receive the affected TV subscription service(s) and you reasonably consider that you would be materially disadvantaged by this;
    (c) Withdraw any:
    (i) Sky premium channel you are currently receiving so that you would be left with no standard definition or high definition variant of the channel or collection of channels (as applicable) as part of your chosen option; or
    (ii) Stand-alone premium channel you are currently receiving;
    (d) Reduce:
    (i) The number of channels within, or the level of service of, your chosen basic pack; or

    (ii) The level of service of your PVR functionality, Sky Q Multiscreen subscription or additional TV viewing,
    and in each case you reasonably consider that you would be materially disadvantaged by the reduction compared with the number of channels or level of service on the first day of the later of your minimum term or new minimum term (where applicable);
    (e) Introduce a charge under condition 8.1, 8.2 or 8.10; or
    (f) We exercise our rights under condition 10.2 (other than where we are restricting any copying that would breach these conditions) and you reasonably consider that you would be materially disadvantaged by this.
    If we or SSSL donít tell you about these changes in advance (which would only be the case if we are not required to give notice of the change under another condition) the 21 day period above begins on the day of your first bill following the change. At busy times it may take us up to 48 hours to act on your notice.
    14.5. You may also end this contract or a TV service at any time (including during the minimum term), by giving us notice if we, SSSL or SHS break any condition of this contract.
    14.6. In addition to your rights above, you may end a TV subscription service by giving us 31 daysí notice to expire no earlier than when the minimum term for that TV subscription service has ended.
    If you log in to your sky account, they've actually got an alert banner notifying you of the change of channels and of discovery's removal so i think it's certainly gone beyond any last minute game of bluff.

    Sky's statement was fairly brutal as well as they said that they'd "been overpaying discovery for years and won't be doing it any more".
    • jasonwatkins
    • By jasonwatkins 25th Jan 17, 11:19 PM
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    • #4
    • 25th Jan 17, 11:19 PM
    • #4
    • 25th Jan 17, 11:19 PM
    A Sky spokesman said the company will not meet Discovery's price demands, or its call for a five-year deal, and that the channels will be withdrawn.

    He added: "Despite our best efforts to reach a sensible agreement, we, like many other platforms and broadcasters across Europe, have found the price expectations for the Discovery portfolio to be completely unrealistic. Discoveryís portfolio of channels includes many which are linear-only where viewing is falling.

    "Sky has a strong track record of understanding the value of the content we acquire on behalf of our customers, and as a result weíve taken the decision not to renew this contract on the terms offered.

    "We have been overpaying Discovery for years and are not going to anymore. We will now move to redeploy the same amount of money into content we know our customers value.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/01/25/discovery-goes-war-sky-channel-fees-blackout-threat/
    • mije1983
    • By mije1983 25th Jan 17, 11:44 PM
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    mije1983
    • #5
    • 25th Jan 17, 11:44 PM
    • #5
    • 25th Jan 17, 11:44 PM
    So it seems Sky Q customers can cancel, Sky+ customers cannot!

    Although I personally wouldn't class any of the Discovery channels as 'premium', they are just 'standard' channels to me, I don't know what Sky's definition of 'premium' is. Term (d)(i) covers it regardless though.

    However, knowing Sky they will probably just add the equivalent number of time shift channels and argue the total number of channels in the package has stayed the same. Sky 1 +11 anyone?

    I wouldn't say that having the banner on their site means it's done and dusted, there is also a statement on the Discovery homepage. I think the fact that both sides have indicated that this isn't the final decision means that talks will continue, but only on Sky's terms of course!

    • Moneyineptitude
    • By Moneyineptitude 26th Jan 17, 12:12 AM
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    Moneyineptitude
    • #6
    • 26th Jan 17, 12:12 AM
    • #6
    • 26th Jan 17, 12:12 AM


    No doubt a last minute agreement will be reached. Discovery are just playing the same game of bluff (albeit on a much larger scale!) we all do with Sky every year to get a better price! Who will blink first?
    Originally posted by mije1983
    Virgin played this "game" a few years back and came a cropper. Can Discovery afford to remove themselves from 10 million+ homes? I think not.

    Regardless, I personally barely watch these channels...
    • Colin_Maybe
    • By Colin_Maybe 26th Jan 17, 7:58 AM
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    Colin_Maybe
    • #7
    • 26th Jan 17, 7:58 AM
    • #7
    • 26th Jan 17, 7:58 AM
    On the Sky help page (HD+ version at least)

    'From 1 February, Discovery Communications’ portfolio of channels are unlikely to be available in Sky TV packages.'

    'Yes, the channels will be available until 31 January. At any point from 1 February, Discovery may remove them from the Sky platform.'

    'In the UK and Ireland, this includes Animal Planet, Discovery HD, Discovery History, Discovery Home & Health, Discovery Science, Discovery Shed, Discovery Turbo, DMAX, Eurosport1, Eurosport2, Investigation Discovery, Quest and TLC.'

    No mention anywhere of cancellation possibilities.
    • jasonwatkins
    • By jasonwatkins 26th Jan 17, 8:16 AM
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    jasonwatkins
    • #8
    • 26th Jan 17, 8:16 AM
    • #8
    • 26th Jan 17, 8:16 AM
    I suppose if Discovery elect to go free to air, the channels will stay on the EPG and there'll be zero reason, or even need, to cancel.

    Saying that, they've overpaid for the rights to the Olympics anyway so they probably do need to stay with sky, but if sky are sticking to their guns about overpaying them then it might not work.

    They're obviously hoping their viewers now lobby sky to "save" them but they'll effectively be lobbying sky to increase their bills because that'll be what will happen if sky continue to pay what they feel is an inflated price for discovery's channels, because they'll pass the cost on to the customers.
    • jasonwatkins
    • By jasonwatkins 26th Jan 17, 11:41 AM
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    jasonwatkins
    • #9
    • 26th Jan 17, 11:41 AM
    • #9
    • 26th Jan 17, 11:41 AM
    Ok, well here it is. I asked the question on Live Chat about whether or not I could cancel my contract without penalty and I was initially given the cut-and-paste blurb about "As of Feb 1st, The Discovery Portfolio .. blah blah blah" but the advisor also tagged on this.

    "And as per your contract information that was agreed upon when you signed up for sky your package may experience change in price or content that does not allow for early cancellation while you are on contract"
    I then asked why the situation for Sky Q Customers appeared to contradict this and I quoted the following section from the T's & C's.

    (c) Withdraw any:
    (i) Sky premium channel you are currently receiving so that you would be left with no standard definition or high definition variant of the channel or collection of channels (as applicable) as part of your chosen option; or
    (ii) Stand-alone premium channel you are currently receiving;
    (d) Reduce:
    (i) The number of channels within, or the level of service of, your chosen basic pack;
    I made the point I didn't personally have Sky Q, but that I just wanted to point out that the contract appeared different and, if it was correct, was unfair.

    The advisor then said this ..

    "OK so what the above statement you have given me means Is If a sky owned channel like Sky Atlantic or Sky living Is removed form your package and this premium that you are paying for Is cancelled you have the right to cancel your subscription. Sky does not own Discovery It only leases the channels from The discovery portfolio. Just like when the BT sports was removed because we only leased this, It doesnít fall into the category of a breach of contract"
    I said I can accept that, but I made the point that clause "D" clearly states ..

    (d) Reduce:
    (i) The number of channels within, or the level of service of, your chosen basic pack;
    I also made the point that clause "A" in Section 14 states ..

    (a) Change these conditions under condition 13 and you reasonably consider that you would be materially disadvantaged by this;
    and that condition 13.1(a) states ..

    13.1. We may change or add to the conditions for any of the following reasons:
    (a) We change, alter, improve or add to our TV services;
    I made the point that I watch the Discovery Channels a lot, including Eurosport, so I would be materially disadvantaged by this change as I would have to source another option to continue to watch the shows I like.

    The advisor then came back to me and said that he had spoken to his manager and that "rather than go back and forth on contract information, they would cancel my service early with no early termination charge.

    I asked if could inform a friend of mine who is in a similar situation, which is actually true, and I got this response ..

    "No, this is a one off for you as the responses for this have not been generated yet. As soon as they are no one will be able to cancel due to this"
    It makes it sound like they're going to essentially re-write the T's & C's to close up any loopholes on the face of it.

    Anyway, it's just worked for me so hopefully this information will help someone else.
    • Moneyineptitude
    • By Moneyineptitude 26th Jan 17, 11:46 AM
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    Moneyineptitude
    Anyway, it's just worked for me so hopefully this information will help someone else.
    Originally posted by jasonwatkins
    Since Discovery has yet to actually exit the Sky platform and negotiations are still in progress, I can't see Sky have actually let you cancel without penalty at all?

    Did they tell you to come back when the channels are no longer available?
    • jasonwatkins
    • By jasonwatkins 26th Jan 17, 12:01 PM
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    jasonwatkins
    Since Discovery has yet to actually exit the Sky platform and negotiations are still in progress, I can't see Sky have actually let you cancel without penalty at all?

    Did they tell you to come back when the channels are no longer available?
    Originally posted by Moneyineptitude
    No. I received no such 'invite'. The cancellation was processed and a final bill amount was generated and is confirmed on my sky account.
    • Moneyineptitude
    • By Moneyineptitude 26th Jan 17, 12:19 PM
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    Moneyineptitude
    No. I received no such 'invite'. The cancellation was processed and a final bill amount was generated and is confirmed on my sky account.
    Originally posted by jasonwatkins
    Fair enough. They obviously didn't value your custom enough to fight any further. How long was left on your minimum term?
    Last edited by Moneyineptitude; 26-01-2017 at 12:22 PM.
    • jasonwatkins
    • By jasonwatkins 26th Jan 17, 12:29 PM
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    jasonwatkins
    Fair enough. They obviously didn't value your custom enough to fight any further. How long was left on your minimum term?
    Originally posted by Moneyineptitude
    i had 9 months left
    • opaque
    • By opaque 26th Jan 17, 2:50 PM
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    opaque
    That is not an inconsequential contract so it's an interesting choice for them.
    I mean I'm guessing it will get sorted out somehow at some point. My first year ends in March and I'm looking to downgrade anyway after my discounts end but if they don't sort it out I'll want to be downgrading a lot as those channels (namely TLC really) are the main reason for going for the bigger package, not bothered with the box sets so no Discovery channels I expect to be able to go to a MUCH cheaper deal.
    Thing is I can't drop everything as there is no Virgin where I live and BT offer even less for TV so I can't risk dropping Sky completely like some people can risk doing.
    • jasonwatkins
    • By jasonwatkins 26th Jan 17, 3:11 PM
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    jasonwatkins
    That is not an inconsequential contract so it's an interesting choice for them.
    I mean I'm guessing it will get sorted out somehow at some point. My first year ends in March and I'm looking to downgrade anyway after my discounts end but if they don't sort it out I'll want to be downgrading a lot as those channels (namely TLC really) are the main reason for going for the bigger package, not bothered with the box sets so no Discovery channels I expect to be able to go to a MUCH cheaper deal.
    Thing is I can't drop everything as there is no Virgin where I live and BT offer even less for TV so I can't risk dropping Sky completely like some people can risk doing.
    Originally posted by opaque
    This article implies that that UK door is "all but shut" to Discovery so it's looking less and less likely that either side is trying to bluff it through.

    Sources familiar with the situation told Broadband TV News that while the UK door is all but shut, there is still room for negotiation in Germany. The Italian market is covered by a separate agreement.
    http://www.broadbandtvnews.com/2017/01/25/discovery-sky-carriage-talks-at-impasse/
    • MSE Steve
    • By MSE Steve 26th Jan 17, 5:25 PM
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    MSE Steve
    MSE News: Sky TV customers set to lose 13 channels next week
    Sky TV customers face losing 13 channels from their screens from 1 February, including Eurosport, Animal Planet and TLC, because of a contract row between the telecoms giant and the Discovery group of channels....
    Read the full story:
    'Sky TV customers set to lose 13 channels next week - can you get a refund or cancel penalty-free?'

    Click reply below to discuss. If you havenít already, join the forum to reply. If you arenít sure how it all works, read our New to Forum? Intro Guide.
    • Colin_Maybe
    • By Colin_Maybe 26th Jan 17, 5:30 PM
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    Colin_Maybe
    There's 3 threads on this now:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5592264
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=71995341&posted=1#post71995341

    Time for a merge
    • poppasmurf_bewdley
    • By poppasmurf_bewdley 26th Jan 17, 6:11 PM
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    poppasmurf_bewdley
    So it seems Sky Q customers can cancel, Sky+ customers cannot!

    Although I personally wouldn't class any of the Discovery channels as 'premium', they are just 'standard' channels to me, I don't know what Sky's definition of 'premium' is. Term (d)(i) covers it regardless though.

    However, knowing Sky they will probably just add the equivalent number of time shift channels and argue the total number of channels in the package has stayed the same. Sky 1 +11 anyone?

    I wouldn't say that having the banner on their site means it's done and dusted, there is also a statement on the Discovery homepage. I think the fact that both sides have indicated that this isn't the final decision means that talks will continue, but only on Sky's terms of course!
    Originally posted by mije1983
    Ofcom made a decision some years ago that 'Premium' was something that you paid over and above for - albeit this was regarding 0870, 0845, 0843 and 0844 numbers as premium rate telephone numbers.

    I think any paid for channel that is not Freeview or Freesat (ie paid for other than by the TV licence) could be classed as 'premium'.
    "There are not enough superlatives in the English language to describe a 'Princess Coronation' locomotive in full cry. We shall never see their like again". O S Nock
    • Moneyineptitude
    • By Moneyineptitude 26th Jan 17, 7:35 PM
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    Moneyineptitude
    I think any paid for channel that is not Freeview or Freesat (ie paid for other than by the TV licence) could be classed as 'premium'.
    Originally posted by poppasmurf_bewdley
    Sky regard premium channels as those you pay a separate subscription for. The individual football team channels, Sky Sports, Sky Cinema, BT Sport are examples of channels generally regarded as premium.
    Discovery's bouquet of channels is included in a number of subscription packages, so can't be regarded as premium.
    • kondormid
    • By kondormid 26th Jan 17, 8:28 PM
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    kondormid
    I am not sure what Discovery get these days, but I remember what now seems decades ago they were complaining that they only got 2p per subscriber. It would be a financial loss for them that is for sure, but as their eurosport player (currently £20 for the year) model seems to be working out... added to that the fact that Sky have announced that they intend to drop satellite TV installations in 2018 and go totally via broadband from then... Well why do Discovery need to stay with Sky? Why do they need to be packaged when they can make their own packages available over the internet? They have proved they have the technology to do it, even with multiple live streams and vod.

    I do not think this is the false alarm it was decades ago, I think this is the start of a split from sky.
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