Dani Warner, TV expert at uSwitch.com, comments: “The BBC strengthening its ties with UKTV’s channels while also offering its factual programming library to Discovery looks like a win-win for consumers.
“The game-changing impact of subscription services like Netflix and Amazon Prime over the past few years has forced traditional broadcasters to be more imaginative, and this is a significant financial commitment – the largest deal in the BBC’s history.
“The UKTV portfolio has quietly become a very popular draw among TV watchers, as shown by the staring contest between it and Virgin Media at the end of last year, and it is also increasingly profitable, so this looks like a smart move for the BBC.
“It is sure to be just the corporation’s latest step towards being in a position to fully compete with its global streaming rivals, following the announcement of Britbox UK a few weeks ago.
“Apple only last week waded into the streaming market, and Disney is set to debut its own platform this year, so controlling original content is more crucial than ever.
“With this move, the BBC has today smartly locked down an impressive library ahead of its Britbox launch – while also preventing its competitors from being able to access it.”