Discovery Communications, following a recent deal with Dogus Media Group to acquire CNBC-e, will relaunch the channel under the TLC brand in the Turkish market in November. The agreement also includes a plan for Discovery to expand its current channel offering in Turkey as well as Dogus being Discovery’s exclusive ad sales representative in the region.
TLC will, like CNBC-e, will be free to air, offering both scripted and non-scripted content including hit series such as Fear the Walking Dead, Aquarius, British drama Poldark as well as series from OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. TLC will be the first free-to-air network in Turkey from Discovery. Internationally, the network is available to 191 markets reaching 398 million households whereas in the US it is one of the top 10 cable networks among the female audience. In Turkey, Discovery already operates 12 pay TV channels including localised feeds for Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Discovery Science.
In 2012, Discovery opened a local office in Turkey in order to manage the distribution of its networks to the local market. Taking into account the acquisition of Eurosport, the US cable programmer has grown its subscriber base by 70% to 17.1 million according to IHS Technology.
Dogus has been a strong player in Turkish television market, owning thematic and mainstream channels. The Turkish conglomerate, which also has holdings in construction, banking and other operations, is expected to focus on its NTV news channel after the expiry of its 15-year licence agreement with NBC Universal to operate CNBC-e.
CNBC-e is a mixed channel that targets the 20-50 demographic, while TLC focuses mainly on the 25-54 female audience. The launch of a free to air network in Turkey is part of the continuing effort of Discovery to expand internationally into less developed markets and make its content available to a wider audience. Last June Discovery partnered with Nation in Abu Dhabi in order to launch Quest Arabiya and has also signed an agreement with National Media Group in Russia to launch another free-to-air network.The firm reported that approximately 55% of its total revenues came from the international segment in 2014 with the goal of reaching 65% within the next three years. IHS TV Channel Intelligence, expects TLC to reach 10.9 million households in Turkey by the end of 2015.