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Discovery Renews Carriage Deal with AT&T DirectTV

September 8, 2016

TV Puppy BowlTV Puppy Bowl
In this undated photo released by Animal Planet, producer Andrew L. Schechter takes on the role of referee as he appears on the field with various puppies for "Puppy Bowl VII," airing Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. EST on Animal Planet. (AP Photo/Animal Planet, David Holloway)Photograph by David Holloway — AP

Discovery Communications said on Thursday that it has renewed its distribution deal with AT&T DirectTV.

Under the agreement, Discovery’s networks, which include Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, will be available on all of AT&T (T) DirecTV’s platforms, including its upcoming DirectTV Now streaming service scheduled to launch later this year.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The announcement helps remove investor concerns that Discovery (DISCK), like some of its peers, would see a reduction in affiliate fees, wrote Michael Nathanson, an analyst with MoffettNathanson, in a report Thursday.

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“As one of the few cable network groups that had not yet been impacted the by effects of distributor consolidation, there was legitimate worry among investors that Discovery would take the hit from rate resets and tiering issues experienced at Viacom (VIAB) and more recently, Scripps Networks,” Nathanson wrote.

Distributors have sought to remove certain channels from lower-cost packages and renegotiate distribution fees for carrying TV networks’ content.

Discovery now has deals in place with both Comcast (CMCSA) and AT&T DirectTV, leaving Charter Time Warner Cable (TWC) as the only distributor it has to renew with in the next one to two years, according to the report.

“We believe that affiliate fee growth will not experience a similar meaningful deceleration as its peers,” Nathanson wrote in the report.